The orphaned nephew of a pastor, Jacob de Zoet is an earnest and naïve clerk with the Dutch East Indies Company. As he arrives on the tiny island of Dejima off the coast of Japan, his goals are two-fold: to prove his worth to his intended’s father and to wipe clean the corruption rampant in the Company. While the Europeans are strictly isolated from the Japanese population, Jacob nonetheless falls in love with a Japanese midwife, Orito, and her story widens the plot into a suspenseful saga of power and passion. David Mitchell is a spellbinding author and The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet (Random House, $15), like Jacob himself, is an endearing creation.
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