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The Jewel Trader of Pegu: A Novel
Publisher: Harper Perennial | ISBN: 0061252719 | edition 2008 | PDF | pages 256 | 1,55 mb

Jewish jewel trader Abraham, a widower at 28, leaves Venice in 1598 for Pegu, a Burmese kingdom halfway around the world, where he is to settle and acquire high-quality gems for the family business. In his letters home, which comprise much of the novel, Abraham, liberated from the ghetto, delights in the freedom to walk when and where he will, but soon discovers that foreigners are expected to perform a specific service to bring luck to the marriages of young brides, one that is forbidden by Jewish law. His relationship with a young woman, Mya, expands his views, and he develops deep friendships with several other locals. As political unrest grows in the area, however, Abraham is forced to choose between his feelings for Mya and his certainty that the world does not have a place for their love. Making his fiction debut, Hantover intercuts Abraham's letters with short chapters from Mya's point of view with delicacy and grace. He evokes the lush setting and gives clear voice to Abraham's doubts, fears and passions.
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