The Thousand Autumns of Jacob DeZoet (Book on CD)

Monday, November 8, 2010
David Mitchell

In 1799 Japan allowed a few foreigners to stay only on the artificial island of Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor. Otherwise foreigners are blocked from entering Japan and Japanese citizens are prevented from leaving. As a young man, Jacob De Zoet arrives to help his employer, the Dutch East Indies Company, clean house. His goal is to make his fortune and reunite with his fiancĂ© in Holland. Fate hands him a very different story. He falls in love with a Japanese woman even though he is only allowed to see her on Dejima in the presence of her Japanese colleagues in very public settings. If he in any way reveals his attraction to her, it could be deadly for both of them. Local and world events intervene to take them both on very different paths that include trust and betrayal and the challenges of historical racial and gender boundaries. Mitchell’s painstakingly detailed style of developing characters and settings and sweeping adventures reminds me of James Michener’s historical fiction.

Kathleen Z., Library Director

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