20 March 2011

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

Random House, 2010
 The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is set in 1799, during the time the Dutch East India Company occupied, with the permission of the Japanese shogunate, the port of Dejima in Nagasaki Harbour.

We follow two main characters - Jacob de Zoet, a Dutch clerk seeing out a five-year stint in Dejima to earn enough to marry his fiancee back home, and Orito Aibagawa, a young Japanese midwife. De Zoet, a man of integrity and intelligence, finds himself thrown into the local Dutch politics of the day, smitten with the beautiful but elusive Aibagawa and embroiled in the dark and sinister machinations of the book's villain, Lord Abbot Enomoto. It is tale told in the bipolar format of good vs. evil - most if not all of the characters are either one or the other.