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  • Phoenix
  • W&N

The Book of Loss

Julith Jedamus

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

Gripping novel of sexual jealousy set in the world of imperial 10th century Japan.

The Book of Loss takes the reader deep into the heart of 10th century Japan and into a female world of intense emotion. The mysterious narrator, and her rival Izumi, are both ladies-in-waiting at the Imperial court, where all aspects of life are governed by elaborate social rules. It is a society steeped in hypocrisy, for although women are shut off from men behind shutters and silk screens, extramarital affairs are commonplace. Yet despite the apparent sexual liberalism, to be a woman shamed is to be worthless, nameless and to risk exile. At the start of the novel the greatest scandal imaginable has taken place. Kanesuke, the narrator's beloved (and also the lover of Izumi) has seduced the Virgin of Ise - one of the Emperor's daughters. He is banished from court, but his influence grows yet more powerful in the minds of the women left behind. The narrator's sense of loss is unbearable, her passion is all consuming, and now it will push her to extremes of rivalry.

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Praise for The Book of Loss

  • An excellent debut novel... there is much in the book to keep a reading group happy... A thoroughly absorbing read, a real pleasure. - NEW BOOKS

  • Will appeal to all who enjoyed GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING and MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. - BURY FREE PRESS

  • It's heady stuff, but for all the novel's exoticism, what gives it its edge is Jedamus's modern psychological acuity. - OBSERVER (20.3.05) - Hephzibah Anderson

  • This is a careful tale of jealousy and recenge...jedamus brings tenth-century Japan to life with this diary centring on palace life. - GOOD BOOK GUIDE (1.4.05)

  • This is a story skillfully told and is one of the most beautiful I have read in a long while...Once you have read the story, you will want to keep dipping in for the sheer beauty of the words and observations on emotions that touch us all. - YORKSHIRE GAZETTE & HERALD

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Julith Jedamus

Julith Jedamus was born in Boulder, Colorado, and now lives in Richmond, Surrey with her husband and son. This is her first book.