Books: David Mitchell’s latest is a tale of love and murder in the Orient


Three times nominated for the Man Booker prize, David Mitchell, the acclaimed author of Cloud Atlas, is clearly a writer on a roll. His fifth book is set in Japan in the late 1700s, his hero a ginger-haired Dutch clerk who falls in forbidden love with a scarred midwife named Orito. There are abductions and rescue attempts aplenty to keep the plot ticking, but most enthralling is the total absorption into the period and place and, of course, Mitchell’s lyrical writing.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
— Tia
20th May 2010