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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell

09/23/2010

A truly thrilling and well wrapped historical by David Mitchell is presented in The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet.  Jacob is a young, naive Dutch East India Company employee when he arrives on an island in the Japanese harbor of Nagasaki in 1799.  He has been tasked with cleaning up the longstanding culture of corruption that has infected the business dealings there.  It is there that he falls in love with a local mid-wife, Orito Aibagawa, even though he is currently engaged to a girl back home in the Netherlands.  As the two lovers struggle to sustain their relationship, Jacob is demoted and Orito’s father dies deeply in debt forcing her to working at a local shrine–where sinister rituals are taking place to require her midwife skills.  It is at this point, the story’s pace begins to pick up and push towards it’s riveting  finish.  This novel has beautifully crafted characters and settings, along with a romantic story and tight tension.

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