I was bought this book for Yule from Oliver. His friend had recommended it. As I never got further than page 50 in Cloud Atlas, I was a little apprehensive.
However, I have thoroughly enjoyed the book. The action takes place over 17-18 years at end of the 18th and start of the 19th century, when Japan was still very much a closed country. It is the tale of more than one lot of "unrequited" love. The residents of Dejima were to all intents and purposes exiles, only having contact with their homeland through the island of Batavia. Jacob de Zoet is an honorable man who manages to resist the corruption that the others fall prey to.
A little slow to start, but soon captures the reader in Japan of the late 1700s, early 1800s.
After reading this I think i should go back and give Cloud Atlas another try.
The Gathering follows Veronica through the days after her elder brother, Liam's, suicide. There is less than 12 months between the two, so they spent a lot of time together whilst growing. Saying that it is a novel about family life does not do it justice. The narrator tries to piece together family history, etc in an attempt to make sense of her own life. Dealing with a close sibling's suicide brings her to question where her own life is going.