The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley
An electrifying epic, based on the incredible true story of a Chinese princess turned spy.
Having being sent to Japan at the tender age of eight after witnessing her father's liaison with a fourteen-year-old maid, Eastern Jewel's life is fated to be hard and full of thorns. She was adopted by the Kawashima's and was given the name Yoshiko. As she grew up to be a beautiful woman, the patriarch of the family, an eighty-year-old man named Teshima became interested in her and proceeded to sexually approach Eastern Jewel, who was still fifteen years old at that time. She then underwent a repeating process in the hands of her stepfather Kawashima.
Eastern Jewel is portrayed as a female with unusual sexual appetite, she had uncountable lovers and had bedded many of the high and powerful. The author seemed to concentrate on describing her uncountable sexual affairs that I couldn't help but question whether this book is supposed to be a historical fiction. I detested Eastern Jewel's wild, notorious behaviours in her adult years, but I also couldn't help but feel pity for her for what she had gone through in her childhood.
Eastern Jewel had a complex character. She yearned for love but did not scorn the idea of being unfaithful. Instead, she seemed to enjoy having various partners at a time. She hated it when people regarded her as a Chinese and was undoubtedly loyal towards Japan. I think this has something to do with her growing up in a foreign country and learning to adopt the Japanese mindset.
Eastern Jewel's life is full of adventures, affairs and political intrigues. To say that she is a unruly woman would be an understatement. As much as I hated her character and way of thinking, I somehow liked how she is portrayed - a multifaceted espionage with a wild streak. Maybe she was meant to be born just for the sake of leaving an unprecedented history about a Chinese princess who has a Japanese heart.
Note: This book contains adult contents, obscenities, as well as alcohol and drug abuse. Not for readers under 18 years of age.
Having worked as a photographer, antique dealer and dress designer, eventually trained as a psychotherapist. She has one daughter and lives in the Wye valley on the Welsh borders with her husband.