Nicholas Duncan is a semi-retired shipping magnate who resides in idyllic Beautiful Bay in Indonesia, where he is known as the old patriarch of the islands. He is grieving the loss of his beautiful Eurasian wife, Anna, and is suffering for the first time from disturbing flashbacks to WWII, the scene of their first meeting and early love. His other wartime lover is the striking Marg Hamilton, a powerful and influential political player in Australia who has remained close to Nick. Marg suspects Nick is suffering the onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and organises for a specialist to meet with him in Sydney. But when they meet, Tony Freedman stirs long-buried emotions in Nick and the two men don't hit it off.
Nick leaves in an explosion of anger and finds himself in hospital after being hit by a car. Tony visits and encourages Nick to write as a form of therapy - to write about Anna. So he sets about writing about the woman who has inspired him since his late teens, and in doing so draws us into the compelling tale of the life he has lived post war-hero days building a shipping empire, navigating international corruption, supporting his wife's third-world education crusade and loving the women who inspire him. Set in the exotic locale of the spice islands during the excitement of post-war prosperity and possibility, and driven by strong, colourful characters, this book is truly epic in scope. Is it possible for a man to love two women?
©2008 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing
A continuation of the story of the characters in The Persimmon Tree, this book demonstrates Courtenay's usual masterful weaving of history, politics, romance, love, & all the complexities of human relationships, in wonderful storytelling. Humphrey Bower is an outstanding reader & brings the characters alive.
50ish retired public radio news broadcaster, female, rancher. I love good writing from historical fiction and interesting, off beat mysteries to history of religions and interesting biography coupled with excellent voicing. I have no use for poorly delivered reading. I'll suffer though so-so writing if the content is engaging, but if the narrator is bad, I'll buy the book and read it myself.
While it was great to catch up with Nick, Anna and Marg, this story went on an and on and on about politics, history and environmental issues. Toward the end I skipped large amounts just to get back to the story.
I was thrilled to realize The Persimmon Tree had a sequel, and settled in to listen. To keep my review brief (and avoid spoilers), I loved every part of the story that involved Anna and disliked nearly every part of the story that involved Marg. Even allowing for that personal opinion, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it.
I would condense the content, a lot of the story from The Persimmon Tree is repeated and re-repeated far too many times in this book. There are a lot of cliches and editorial misses that should have been excluded and detract from the telling of this sequel.
restricted the amount of cliches about women and expanded more on the final outcome of his writing his story and Marg Hamilton.
he redeems some of the self depreciating humor and allows you to overlook the authors at times tedious repetitions and cliches.
yes but only if it were together with the first book, The Persimmon Tree. No idea on actors!
Read the Persimmon Tree first or you'll be disappointed and irritated. I read this sequel and can understand why other readers were disappointed and given poor reviews. This is not his best book, but I did enjoy most of it as part of the previous story. It took me a while to get into the first book, so I read The Four Fires which was more fun and more akin to The Power of One. I felt I had to got into the style of this author and so decided to go back to the Persimmon Tree but had to make an effort to tolerate some cliches and repetitions of storyline especially for Fishing for Stars.I still enjoyed it overall. There is some good storytelling and information in there, once you get used to the writing style but not everyone's cup of tea! One for fans I think and not the best Bryce Courtney book to start with.
Although not at the same level as the first one in the Duncan series you will not be disappointed with this installment if you enjoyed the Persimmon Tree. Like all Courtney novels he seems to project himself in all his hero's and may fancy himself being desired by two gorgeous women as Nick Duncan is. The novel expounded in semi detail on Tasmania’s Green movement which was a little boring, seemed like it was forcible integrated into the story, likely it really requires a separate novel to address and certainly a novel which I would not download.
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.
A beautiful heroin addict, a bored housewife looking for a cause and a misogynistic ex-pat with PTSD. Do you want to know their story? I thought I did but I quickly became totally bored with the three of them.
Story: The beautiful and successful heroin addict, what a joke. Heroin addicts have to buy cut heroin and the ravages upon their physical being are obvious. This was my first annoyance. Then this ex-pat who has sex with multiple women and then "lets them go". You're kidding right? Women are so disposable and willing to involve themselves in such relationships so easily?? Don't even get me started with the bored housewife and her Kegal exercises!! Ugh!
Narrator: Oh Mr. Bower! I bet you wish you had never read this trite rubbish! Still a great job! Thankyou for being the only saving grace.
The Japan angle was very interesting. So was the drug rehabilitation angle. Anna becoming a cunning business tycoon and belittling Nicholas at every opportunity got a bit old. How many times does she have to tell him he is an idiot? So did the entire Marg Hamilton angle. It was ridiculous...At the beginning of the book I had complete buy-in to the characters of Anna, Nicholas and Marg. By the end I could have cared less what happened to them. I just wanted to be done with them.
The continuation of the Japan angle, other than that I found the story dragged a lot.
Humphrey Bower is literally a genius as a reader. He brought to the story some interest for me, without him I would have likely turned the audiobook off long before.
About 2/3 of the way thru the book I started hoping it would end. The whole Marg/Anna back and forth did not work for me. Neither did the entire Tasmania section. Neither did anything that happened after they came back from Japan. The word "Gobsmacked" could have been used a few less times, and I actually think he repeated sections of the book multiple times by accident. It simply did not flow like his other stories.
I found it a bit too pornographic for my taste. The story could have had the same impact without being so explicit.
Bryce Courtenay is a wonderful story-teller, although I found this one a bit long-winded
Humphrey Bower is an inspired reader. He portrays the accents of the characters wonderfully well.
Not time well spent. This was the retelling of a previous book and nothing new to offer. So disappointed as I loved all the others. One more of Courtenay's already purchased. Hope it will be a credit well used
Prolific reader, writer of short stories, novels and non-fiction.
Not this one. The core story of Anna and Nicolas and Marge the eco-nut was generally acceptable, but why did he create such a profoundly damaged woman as Anna, with her perverse attachment to her Japanese war criminal tormentor. She was never redeemed, which is what I was waiting for. Why was Nick the war hero such an unbelievable wuss with his intimate relationships? The book could have been cut by 1/3 - the diatribe about hydro-electric development, East Timor, oil drilling, gorillas and endangered frogs was a lecture that belonged in a 'green' publication, not a novel.
This is the last one I had purchased to listen to, which is a good thing. Bryce usually meanders, but not this drastically off topic.
Humphrey is always magnificent - the range of his talent seems boundless. But this time, there was no one character whom I'd want to share a beer with. The Yakuza Oyabun and the POW Goji Moru were the most potentially interesting.
Good grief, no. It went on too long and I just didn't care what happened to any of the main characters about 4 chapters before the end of the book. They were all self-absorbed and with the exception of sad, twisted Anna, not fully developed as human beings.
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