Advance reader reviews of The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley.

The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel

By Maureen Lindley

The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2009,
    304 pages.

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There are currently 18 member reviews
for The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel
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  • Heather F. (Tulsa, OK)

    The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel
    While I generally like historical fiction, I found this book confusing and barely believable. It would seem impossible for a young girl of this time and place to become so disenfranchised from family and station and to endure the many and varied sexual and other adventures. The author did not allow me much empathy or inclusion into her main character.The book was just "a read".
  • Wilhelmina H. (FL)

    Not sure what the book wanted to be...
    This book tries to be many things and falls flat on most of them. The main character is not very likable and while likable isn't a requirement, there isn't much to take away from reading this other than people can be cruel and use/abuse others to their own advantage. Certainly would spark discussion in a book group if the sexual content doesn't offend.
  • Diane D. (Cape Elizabeth, ME)

    Good story, but not great
    I enjoyed the book and was definitely compelled to finish it. Although I found it an interesting reflection of the Asian culture and what it was like in the early 1900's, I couldn't help but feel that the author fell a bit short compared to a Lisa See book or Memoirs of a Geisha.
  • Betsey V. (Austin, TX)

    An internal journey
    This is very much a psychological exploration of a woman who is both formidable and vulnerable. Eastern Jewel's sense of loss and abandonment is acutely felt. There is much pathos in this Princess of moral ambiguity who is determined to do more than survive. In a world where men reign and woman are second-class citizens, she vows to live a liberated, independent life. The prose is sensuous and lyrical and compelling. A page-turner.
  • Marsha S. (Nags Head, NC)

    The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel
    The book opens with an account of Eastern Jewel, a Manchu princess, caught spying on her father having sexual relations with a young girl, after which she is sent away from her home to be raised in Japan. The story of her life from that point, told in the first-person, gave me the voyeuristic feeling of reading someone's secret diary - guilty, but I could not stop reading it. I enjoyed the way the author managed to bring a richly imagined life to an historical figure by revealing her innermost thoughts and feelings. The book contains a thoughtful reading guide and suggested related reading.
  • Angelina A. (New York, NY)

    Fascinating History but with Reservations
    Diving into the way women are seen in various Eastern cultures is fascinating and how the main character rebels against constraints is truly amazing. However, what tries so hard to be an epic just didn't convince me of those proportions because the main character's development lacked in some areas. I really wanted to believe and understand the Eastern Jewels actions more. Perhaps as a Westerner it would be difficult for me to really truly understand her motives.
  • Beth T. (Savannah, GA)

    Oriental Erotica
    People who have an interest in Japanese history and culture will enjoy this book very much if they don't mind the heavy dose of erotica that flavors most of the story. There is a great deal of interesting information in the book, but also a lot of sexual activity, which readers will either like a lot or find that it detracts from the story they were expecting. I didn't find the characters particularly likable or sympathetic, which made the book a more challenging read for me. It's almost as if the book is mis-categorized as historical fiction. It might do better as historical romance.
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