The Persimmon Tree

2 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 335 ratings

The Persimmon Tree Summary

A sweeping saga from Bryce Courtenay, Australia's most popular author.

The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

To assist in the escape, Anna's father gifts Nick his prized yacht, Vlermuis, to sail to Australia. Singapore has just fallen, the Japanese have made it to Sumatra, and the waters are dangerous. Vlermuis is not long out of Batavia when Nick is forced ashore for repairs. He witnesses the bloody execution of shipwrecked Allied soldiers by natives, and while burying what's left of the bodies, Nick notices one wounded soldier has escaped death, and he carries him back to his yacht.

The rescued soldier is a lower-class Irish Catholic American called Kevin Judge. He has no sailing experience, but he assists Nick in navigating through some dramatic storms and the two form an unlikely and lifelong friendship.

©2007 Bryce Courtenay; 2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2007 Bolinda Publishing
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  • Book 1

    • The Persimmon Tree

    • By: Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
    • Length: 27 hrs and 56 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 233
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 179
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 181

    The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Compelling read

    • By Philippa on 10-09-11

    Regular price: £32.89

  • Book 2

    • Fishing for Stars

    • By: Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
    • Length: 22 hrs and 57 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 102
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 72
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 72

    Nicholas Duncan is a semi-retired shipping magnate who resides in idyllic Beautiful Bay in Indonesia, where he is known as the old patriarch of the islands. He is grieving the loss of his beautiful Eurasian wife, Anna, and is suffering for the first time from disturbing flashbacks to WWII, the scene of their first meeting and early love. His other wartime lover is the striking Marg Hamilton, a powerful and influential political player in Australia who has remained close to Nick.

    • 1 out of 5 stars
    • A disappointing sequel.

    • By Mick'sMoll on 28-02-15

    Regular price: £32.89