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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet

By Pamelascott

In your hands is a place like no other: a tiny, man-made island in the bay of Nagasaki, for two hundred years the sole gateway between Japan and the West. Here, in the dying days of the 18th century, a young Dutch clerk arrives to make his fortune. Instead he loses his heart.

Step onto the streets of Dejima and mingle with scheming traders, spies, interpreters, servants and concubines as two cultures converge. In a tale of integrity and corruption, passion and power, the key is control - of riches and minds, and over death itself.

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['Miss Kawasemi?' Orito kneels on a stale and sticky futon. 'Can you hear me?']

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(Sceptre, 17 March 2011, borrowed from my library)

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This was my second attempt to read this book. I borrowed the audio book from my library. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to listen every day, and despite maxing out renewals I was unable to finish it. So I borrowed the paperback. I'm so glad I did.

I absolutely loved this book. I'm a huge fan of David Mitchell and this gorgeous book exceeded my expectations.

I was hooked from the opening chapter when Miss Abigawa seemingly performs a miracle and delivers a baby, thought to be dead and saves the infants life. I fell in love with the tiny island and the intense, vivid characters in the first section which chronicles Jacob falling in love and falling from grace.

I was not prepared for the sinister going's-on at the monastery where Miss Abigawa is held as a prisoner and was surprised by how different this was from the opening section of the novel. Mitchell took me in unexpected directions. The same came be said of the rest of the novel.

I rarely read historical fiction, but The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet is the kind of stuff I fall in love with, Unmissable. Brilliant. I enjoyed it so much I'm going to buy the audio book to listen to at my leisure.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

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