The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.
To assist in the escape, Anna's father gifts Nick his prized yacht, Vlermuis, to sail to Australia. Singapore has just fallen, the Japanese have made it to Sumatra, and the waters are dangerous. Vlermuis is not long out of Batavia when Nick is forced ashore for repairs. He witnesses the bloody execution of shipwrecked Allied soldiers by natives, and while burying what's left of the bodies, Nick notices one wounded soldier has escaped death, and he carries him back to his yacht.
The rescued soldier is a lower-class Irish Catholic American called Kevin Judge. He has no sailing experience, but he assists Nick in navigating through some dramatic storms and the two form an unlikely and lifelong friendship.
©2007 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2007 Bolinda Publishing
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
The Persimmon Tree was enjoyable but was nowhere near The Power of One in terms of its effect on me. It would rate a 7/10 in terms of the books I've read.
I enjoyed Kevin Judge. He was a real character and I loved Humphrey Bower's voice when doing "The Judge".
I enjoyed everything about Humphrey Bower's performance, as I have when listening to all Bryce Courtenay's books. Mr. Bower is a master and really mastered most of the accents in this book though I felt his Dutch accent was a bit weaker. His female voices were sufficiently confincing as to not distract from the story.
As is typical of Mr. Courtenay's books, there was some rambling with different narratives leading from one to another. Most of the stories were very engaging though I found the amount of vomit and faces mentioned in the book a bit excessive.
As I have said in many reviews before, I continue to enjoy the Courtenay/Bower combination! I was a little less enthusiastic about this book than some of the others, but not enough to warrant less than 5 stars. I doubt if any book by this author/reader combo could result in anything less than 5-star entertainment.
An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.
Enjoy for it is a new slant on the Aussie style and what would a tree be without a Bower?
A very well documented history of the Japanesse and Dutch in world war two, and a love story so tender and sweet.
Great performance, each character was separated in the speech.
Long audio book that captures your heart
I thought this book was beautifully narrated, and I loved the story. I learned many things about WWII, and it was interesting hearing a perspective from a country other than America. My only complaint is that I think it ended too abruptly. Actually, I could have handled the ending if there had been a sequel written to fill in all the information that was left out at the end; for example, Anna's story is so compelling and yet we never find out what happened to her after she fled into the mountains or what made her decide to establish the business she undertook after the war; nor does the author reveal their journey on the boat as she goes through heroin withdrawl. I think it would have made the story much richer at the end, as Nick's story was not nearly as interesting or dramatic, although I enjoyed hearing about him too.
The narration was incredible, the story compelling, combining to make a memorable experience.
Bower brings the characters to life.
The relationship between the Japanese commander and the heroine was emotional.
Details of life in exotic locale
Tihl. I bet he's got some great stories
I will look for more by this author and reader
I would highly recommend this book--outstanding performance of a great story.
Too many to count.
Accent, difference in voices for the different characters--feeling for the subject.
Spellbinding, Emotional, Interesting
My all-time favorite has been Christie. This book ranks up there alongside that book.
It is a spellbinding human interest book will filled with intrigue, as well. I did not want the book to end. I am disappointed in the reviews of the sequel, which I immediately sought. I will give it more thought before choosing to listen to that book.
Bower has to be the most talented narrator I have heard. His different dialects offer increased interest in the story. It was difficult to put this book down.
I am not fond of war stories. I do not like to be reminded of the atrocities of war that continue today. I was reluctant to listen to this book because of that fact. The slaughter of the Australian troops at the beginning of the book almost made me put it down. But I had invested a credit with the book and decided to give it a chance. The story and narration far exceeded my expectations. This was my first Courtenay book and I have just purchased The Power of One even though I do not like boxing nor do I care for stories of South Africa. I guess you can tell I do not like violence nor oppression. But I am confident that Courtenay can tell a story that will hold my attention even in that environment.
no- no need
Information about Indonesia under Dutch rule and war years
Am about to listen to sequel- can't wait
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