The Thousand Autumns is the story of Jacob de Zoet, a Dutch clerk, in 1799 Nagasaki Japan . David Mitchell has written a complex story that deals with the political, trade and societal practices at that time in Japan. The characters are remarkable. Jacob must deal with his sincerity and truthfulness which is not appreciated for the most part by his betters and the Japanese officials. There is also Jacob's love for a Japanese girl and her uncontrolled obligation to a Convent that exists for the creation of "gifts". A terrific book.