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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Set in the perfectly realized world of imperial tenth-century Japan, The Book of Loss is a gripping novel of sexual jealousy at court.
A renowned storyteller and lady-in-waiting to the Empress, the narrator is locked in a bitter rivalry with another woman for the love of a banished nobleman. Forced to observe the complex rules and social hierarchies of court life, she finds herself caught in a trap of her own making. Her machinations reach such a pitch that they threaten to undermine the rule of the Emperor himself. She records her plight, and her acidulous observations of courtly life, in her diary. Her voice is unforgettable—both foreign and utterly modern. Her sense of loss is unbearable, her love is all-consuming, and it will push her to the extremes of rivalry.
Offering the intimate seductions and betrayals of Dangerous Liaisons and The Memoirs of a Geisha, The Book of Loss takes the reader into the farthest reaches of desire, where passion rules and jealousy leads to unthinkable acts.
Born in Boulder, Colorado, Julith Jedamus now lives in Richmond, Surrey with her husband and son. This is her first book.
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