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The Persimmon Tree | [Bryce Courtenay]

The Persimmon Tree

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'.
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Publisher's Summary

A sweeping saga from Bryce Courtenay, Australia's most popular author.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1837 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda Pompei Dana Point, CA, US 05-21-12
    Linda Pompei Dana Point, CA, US 05-21-12
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    "Beautiful story, incredible perfomance"
    Would you listen to The Persimmon Tree again? Why?

    I would listen to Humphrey Bower read the phone book. Just a wonderful voice in all parts.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Anna is the most complex of the characters for me. I love strong female characters with the will and stamina and grit to survive.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was my first but definitely not my last.


    If you could take any character from The Persimmon Tree out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Nick I think because the Australian openness and charm would be delightful.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 05-20-12
    Kathryn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 05-20-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Historical fiction never so interesting!"

    I love Bryce Courtenay! I haver read a few others and each one is better than the last. Not only does the story entertain, but the historical facts and interesting settings make me feel like I have gone somewhere and learned something new.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Mina Philadelphia 05-15-12
    Mrs. Mina Philadelphia 05-15-12
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    45
    5
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    "Beginning well but then dives"
    What disappointed you about The Persimmon Tree?

    The writing is okay except the sex scenes are so boyish and dull.
    The characters become increasingly ridiculous and the ending is so unbelievable as to be pathetic.
    Too much to slog through for a plot that could have been good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherrie 05-08-12
    Sherrie 05-08-12 Member Since 2012

    Addicted to books in all forms.

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    "You Never Go Wrong With This Duo"

    Courtenay and Bower make for an amazing audio book combination and it was proven to me again with this book. I played it on a road trip and it was the first book where both my partner and myself did not want to turn the book off or take breaks from it. We even listened while eating meals. If you are looking for a great audio book experience you can not go wrong with this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen United States 04-30-12
    Eileen United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Epic story - maybe too epic"
    Where does The Persimmon Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm a new Audible member, so it is my favorite so far.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nick Duncan, the protagonist, was very well developed, and I liked lack of braggery.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    First time listener of Humphrey Bower. Will look for him again. I think he did a great job on Persimmon Tree


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not especially, but there were many passages that piqued my interest to continue reading about the part of the world where all this took place.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't know ebony was the heart of the persimmon tree, did you?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob 04-27-12
    Bob 04-27-12
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    6
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    "wonderful read"
    What made the experience of listening to The Persimmon Tree the most enjoyable?

    The speaker was so involved in the story and his voice showed emotion of the main charicter.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nick, he grewup before your eyes


    Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

    Nick


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A view of the invasion of Indonesia we knew nothing about.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann B. Bass Miami, FL United States 04-18-12
    Ann B. Bass Miami, FL United States 04-18-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Superb story and peformance"

    I was already a Bryce Courtney and Humphrey Bower fan, but this book surpassed those I had "read" before. I highly reccomend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda K. Bailey Bremerton, WA 04-10-12
    Linda K. Bailey Bremerton, WA 04-10-12 Member Since 2010

    The family cook

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great love story."
    Where does The Persimmon Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I loved this book so much I am listening to it again! Bryce Courtney is the best story teller ever...never becoming too wordy, but not leaving out details that give you the complete story. You feel the emotion of each person presented in the book, then Humphrey Bower gives them life with his voice.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Anna was my favorite character because she is so smart for her young years and stands her ground for what she believes in. You can feel her compassion for other people and her hate for others. She is such a brave person during the time of the war.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    He is, by a long ways, the best narrator in the Audible Library. He brings the person to life with the variety of accents - he is a master! Very few narrators have the ability to get the emotion across to the listener like Humphrey Bower. He becomes the character.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were parts of the book that made me laugh and other parts that made me cry.
    That is the beauty of Bryce Courtney's books. You never want them to end...and thankfully we get to read more about Anna and Nicholas.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marcy Denver, CO, United States 04-03-12
    marcy Denver, CO, United States 04-03-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Amazing narration and a story that never quits!"
    Where does The Persimmon Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This story is a perfect combination of history and rich, unique characters. Unlike any other story, I was enthralled with the story and loved the narrator. I felt like I knew these characters well especially with the excellent voices/accents that the narrator seamlessly executed. Didn't want it to end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Persimmon Tree?

    The often desperate state that the character Anna found herself in and her ability to rise above her circumstances were a highlight for me.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Love, youthful innocence, war, tropical islands and sailing the high seas are among the topics I really enjoyed during this amazing saga.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Sargent, TX, United States 04-02-12
    James Sargent, TX, United States 04-02-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Book"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Well presentation of a great story


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Yes, even though my interest was already great because I lived in Southeast Asia for years many years ago.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Yes, with great accurate details


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    No complaint with the narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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