- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2198 KB
- Print Length: 346 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Bookouture (15 April 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01C7E3HNS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 210 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,188 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£8.99|
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Daughters of the Silk Road: A beautiful and epic novel of family, love and the secrets of a Ming Vase Kindle Edition
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The book starts in the current times with the owner having inherited the vase and being completely unaware of its origins. We then go back to the 1400s and follow the stories of the next person in the family to whom it was passed to. The detail of the early years was fascinating and each generation of the family was worth reading about and each could have had a book of their own.
We follow the lives of the vase owners along interestingly until the late 17th century but only received scant details from then until the present, which I found disappointing.
The tale of the last inheritor of the vase was good but I was more interested in some of the historical characters and would have loved to know more about some of them.
Overall, a delightful read and I shall be looking for more by Debbie Rix.
"Family tradition has it that the vase brings good fortune to its custodian."
The story starts in the present day. Miranda has just inherited a box of old knick-knacks from her great-aunt. Among the items is an old porcelain vase with a blue dragon painted on which she puts to good use as a flower holder. She is simply oblivious of all the people, all the lives that have been touched by this vase through its long history...
The author then takes us back in time to the 15th century where we meet Italian merchant and explorer Niccolo dei Conti and his family travelling back from 'the land of Further India' (as China was known back then), to his hometown of Venice. He is bringing back a precious cargo of spices, porcelains and silks. He is also delivering gifts donated by the Chinese Emperor to the Doge of Venice, among which is a precious porcelain vase decorated (according to Chinese tradition) with the most powerful of all symbols - the dragon.
And from here starts the long history of the vase, as it is handed down through generations of mercantile families, from mother to daughter, witnessing births, deaths, love, passions, heartaches, jealousy, betrayals and tragedies.
It is obvious that extensive research was required in order to write this book. In fact I think this story will mostly appeal to those loving tales with a great deal of historical facts in them. The author uses many historical characters that have really existed, together with others that are purely fictional.
The past is vividly brought back to life in great detail and in full colour, from the food they ate to the clothes they wore. I could clearly imagine the fish market bustling with life or the merchants bartering and arguing over the cost of goods. Locations and homes are also vividly described. Having been to Venice myself it was as though I was back in the famous Piazza San Marco or on the Rialto Bridge. But Venice is just the starting point of this great journey.
Even though the story alternates between the past and the present I never found this confusing. However, as the story moves forward through time we find many characters that are mentioned only briefly. And as the family tree grows and more descendants are added to it, one has to remember how the characters are related to each other.
However having said that, I really enjoyed reading this magnificent story. It kept me interested to the end and made me dream about these characters and my own ancestors. How different life must have been back then!
With thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for approving my request to read and review this book.
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