Author-teacher Paul Letters, an ever-smiling character about town, is leaving Sai Kung permanently at the end of this month. On Thursday 13 December he will host a drinks party and book signing with Ursula Huber, owner of Kidnapped bookstore. Afterwards, Paul will move to Cena. These may be your last opportunities to see Paul and wish him well.
Paul, who gets around Sai Kung on an electric scooter because of a back condition, is moving to Australia’s Gold Coast with his wife Joanne and nine-year-old son James for family reasons.
The book Paul is promoting on Thursday is called “The Slightest Chance”, a play on Winston Churchill’s famous words that there was “not the slightest chance” for Hong Kong during Word War II. The novel is based on authentic history in Hong Kong, including many scenes in and around Sai Kung, where Chinese resistance was strong and an escape route formed for expats on the run.
Anglo-Australian civil servant Dominic Sotherly is enamoured with Englishwoman Gwen Harmison, a woman with a mysterious past and an opaque relationship with Eurasian Chester Drake. Sotherly, known as “Max”, works as a covert operative. We get to meet many nonfiction characters, from Morris “Two-Gun” Cohen to the one-legged, trigger-happy Admiral Chan Chak. The story follows real daring raids and unique escapes during the Battle of Hong Kong and the Japanese occupation. By the end of the book, it also becomes clear that the novel also has something profound to say about enduring love.