Blossoms and Shadows

  • by Lian Hearn
  • Narrated by Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor
  • 17 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Japan, 1857. For centuries, Japan has been on its own; isolated by choice from the rest of the world. But the Western powers are now at its shores, demanding to be let in; the government is crumbling, and revolution is building. The age of the samurai is ending and in its place a new Japan will be born.
A young woman is readying herself for marriage in this, the most tumultuous period of her nation's history. The daughter of a doctor, Tsuru has been working alongside him and learning the ways of medicine all her life. When her father allows her to marry the man she loves, a fellow doctor, she believes her life will be all she's dreamed it could be: happily married, working amongst men as an equal.
But Japanese society does not work this way. The men of the times - boys she's known since childhood - are determined to expel the foreigners, using violence and whatever else they need to make their message heard. The women are expected to be hidden at home, or behind the paper walls of the tea houses. Tsuru is far too able to accept this, and she is drawn into a shadowy world of subversion, political intrigue, and a dangerous love. In time, she is working on the battlefields, alongside men, to care for the wounded.
Blossoms and Shadows is a compelling tale of love and war, women and men, and the rise of modern Japan. It shines a brilliant light on a time in history that few have known about until now, though the change it brought continues to ripple around the world.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not for anyone that liked the Tales of the Otori

I was very excited the learn that there was a new book by this author, but very disappointed when I listened to it. By the time I got to the middle of the book, I didn't care it I finished it or found out what happened to any of the characters. I loved the Otori series and recommended the books to many members of my family, young and old - everyone enjoyed the series. I just didn't get this book - a time or two I thought it might pick up and be interesting, but it didn't go anywhere.
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- Mary Catherine

Fans of the Otori do not bother with this.

Would you try another book from Lian Hearn and/or Allison Hiroto and Marc Vietor ?

I loved the first three books of the Otori Series so I picked this up.

What could Lian Hearn have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I appreciate character driven narratives, but there was no story. You would think incest and transvestites would be interesting....

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Allison Hiroto and Marc Vietor ?

The narration was monotonous, almost anyone would have been better.

What character would you cut from Blossoms and Shadows?

All of them. This story did not need to be told.

Any additional comments?

I wish I had these 17 hours of my life back. I kept waiting for something to happen. Sadly the interesting part of this story, the fight for Japan to free itself from foreign dominance is secondary. Think Gone with the Wind without any reference to the civil war.

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- Jay

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-15-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios