The author of Anna and the King of Siam has written a novel, tenuous in plot, and depending more on thorough knowledge of Bangkok, and the intensities of mood and activity within the confines of the European and American colony in the '30's. India Severn, gently born and reared, has long put aside the claims of her youthful years in Chicago for the demands of the people who are connected with the mission school of which she is the head. One gets a sense of the bigness of the woman in sharp contrast to the littlenesses of those about her,- the staff at Jasmine Hall, the down and outers and the lame ducks she gives sanctuary to, the hangers-on, the all-powerful committee members who control India's fate and that of her beloved Jasmine Hall, the friends and foes who fight her battles and who poison the darts of public opinion in almost equal measure. The story, what story there is, hinges on the fate of an American girl married to a Siamese prince, and hated by his mother; of the husband's death- and the girl's helplessness against fate until India interferes; of the slow healing- with its interlude of illness and near death; and of the paths leading to India's own supreme sacrifice for the things in which she belives. The plot is elusive and relatively unimportant; Miss Landon is not inherently a novelist -- but she does leave the impress of place and people on her readers.
--Kirkus Review, 1949
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