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Set among the Pacific islands and in the Indian Ocean, The Persimmon Tree tells the very personal and often romantic stories of men and women caught up in larger events - in this case starting with the Japanese invasion of Java and the Dutch exodus of the region. The story spans from 1942 and the fall of Singapore and the American landings at Guadalcanal to the ongoing fight against the Japanese for supremacy in the region. The story follows the fortunes of a colourful cast of characters, in particular young Nicholas Duncan ('the butterfly collector') and his sweetheart, the Eurasian/Dutch girl, Anna Van Heerden. Following Nicholas and Anna through dangerous and exciting times, the story concludes some fifty years later, when the dynamics of the Pacific region have changed forever.


The Persimmon Tree is a sprawling wartime romance ... If you're a Courtenay fan, you won't be disappointed by the generosity of his imagination.

The Age

You can't keep a good story down when it's flowing from the pen of Bryce Courtenay. This one is set in Indonesia in 1942 and fairly brims with drama and tragedy as it reflects on the effects of war and love.

Sunday Times

This is Courtenay at the peak of his storytelling powers. It will keep you turning the pages much longer into the night than is strictly healthy. Unputdownable.

Townsville Bulletin

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    January 5, 2009


    720 pages

    RRP $24.95

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    August 4, 2008

    Penguin eBooks

    720 pages

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