December 2, 2010 by Reader's Connection
My earlier gift list of adult books was made up of titles that I wanted you to give me, but Tina & Tom gave me The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet for my birthday, so I won´t be needing it. I had started reading it when they saw me at Thanksgiving, and I shared what I knew then of the story line. In 1799, Jacob de Zoet is a clerk for the Dutch East Indies Company, stationed on the man-made island of Dejima, in the bay of Nagasaki. He is engaged to a woman back in Holland, but of course falls in love with a Japanese woman.
Tom said, “Okay, thanks, I won’t have to read it now.”
Oh, Tom, you are so wrong. I have finished the book, now, and can testify that it goes off in a thousand directions. There are samurai, there are spies everywhere, there’s an insane immortality cult, there are betrayals–rather a lot of betrayals, Betrayals ‘R’ Them–and there’s Orito the midwife, whom Jacob adores. As do I. And there’s Jacob, struggling to be a man of honor in what appears to be the world capital of disingenuousness.
Someone on your list has a deep, aching need for this book. Be careful about the coffee stains while you’re reading it prior to wrapping it.