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
I love Bryce Courtenay and have listened to most of his books, loved the first book but this sequel seemed a bit like a history class, too preachy. I found myself drifting off in some parts when the detailed history became too long. Still one of my favorite writers though.
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.
I wonder who was this Veteran in their tender youth before the war, and how war has fundamentally changed them? This book takes the reader in to the backstory and life of just such a Veteran. Within the simplest terms and without judgement, defines humanity.
I would recommend this book to the curiously interested in other people's lives. You will gasp, laugh, roll your eyes, struggle to understand, smile, and maybe just relate a little bit.
I am a Company Rep in Central Qld. I travel around 60,000klms a year and rely on my Audiobooks to keep me company on my Country Trips!
Having listened to the Persimmon Tree, I was familiar with the Characters and general story.
Whilst book 2 does have its interesting parts, it is unfortunately quite boring in other parts. In particular, the descriptions of Tasmanian Politics.
Overall, I don't think of this as one of his better books and I would not recommend such a long book to anyone unfamiliar with Mr Courtenay. Start with The Power of One! That, for me, is his best!
I'm a LLL (a Life Long Learner) I love growing my education. Its not cool 2 stop school so early. The ones who do complain that life is hard
I recommend you listen to the Persimmon Tree beforehand. This is beautifully narrated . It covers many decades and is well researched.
I first read THE PERSIMMON TREE. The two books should both be read. The author has detailed, almost ponderous, descriptive history of the South Pacific just before World War II and the Japanese invasion of the many Sutherland's Pacific islands. Told from an Australian man's point of view, it was ver illuminating. I did not know about the culture of the various ethnic groups on the islands, Japan or Australia . At times it is very graphic and there is a lot of sexual customs. But they are described frankly and it is informative, not tawdry. I have read much about the European theatre of WWII, but knew nothing about the Japanese aspect. Many of the names mentioned re true people. As the novels combined span about 60 years, the politics, finances of the Pacific were surprising and fascinating. The audio version was well done and I don't think I could have read such detailed novels in print from. It was shocking to me to learn about the corruption and nuances of Asian businesses. Makes me wonder if America is operating the same way! Enlightening read.
another iridescent, engaging, complex, and simply wonderful experience with Courtenay and Bower. Thematically and morally challenging work that is masterfully articulated by one of the finest authors of our day... or any day and dispensation, really
The Persimmon Tree was awesome. Fishing for Stars as sequel not as much. Although a great story & perfection in reading, there was too much information regarding the environmental & political minutiae. Sadly this left me bored & thinking about fast forwarding which I would never have done in the other Courtenay books I have listened to.
As always, Humphrey Bower's does a masterful job of bringing the story to life, but unlike other Courtenay books this one never really grabbed and held me. It felt like Courtenay wasn't sure where he was going with this one. At several points I was tempted to abandon the book but trudged on to a so-so ending. Glad this wasn't the first Courtenay book I listened to as I would likely have passed on his other very excellent books.
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