“One’s ribs shouldn’t be prison bars.”
You’ve read (and loved, of course) Cloud Atlas, right? If so, then you should read Mitchell’s most recent novel. He makes 18th century Japan look like the best and worst place to fall in love. The titular Jacob, a Dutch trader, falls in love with a Japanese midwife named Orito, which is… problematic, to say the least. Especially because the Dutch aren’t allowed to set foot on Japanese soil, aside from the floating docks and warehouses where they live and work. What ensues is beautiful – the scenery, the cultural interactions, and, improbably, the kidnapping of Orito. She is spirited away to a mountain-top monastery and, of course, Jacob simply must save her. It sounds very done, but trust me on this one, every second is riveting.