Silk Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Silk

In the 1860's the silk trade was booming, and Hervé, a merchant travels to Japan to obtain eggs for the breeding of silkworms. He negotions with a Japanese baron to obtain the eggs and he encounters a young woman who does not have asian eyes. From the moment he sees this woman, Hervé is captivated, and though he is married, he returns to Japan to this woman three times. Because they do not speak the same language they cannot address each other, but over these visits they conduct a secret affair.
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The review of this Book prepared by fran laniado

This beautiful short novel is a love story and fable. It concerns Herve Joncour a procurer of silk worms and is set in the 19th Century in France. After a failure of African silk worms Herve travels to the remote land of Japan overland to buy some Japanese silk worms. Here he meets a beautiful non-Asian young girl who is the mistress of the wealthy village lord. Eachtime he travels to Japan the young girl passes him a message written in Japanese and Herve despite being married falls for the girl. Finally he receives a letter preportedly from the girl which describes how she would like to have made love with him. But there is an air of tragedy with the letter as it is in fact from his wife who has died. This beautiful melancholic and highly descriptive novel charged with eroticism will leave you dreaming of its words long after you have read it.
The review of this Book prepared by John Marcel

Chapter Analysis of Silk

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh)    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   long distance phone/letter/e-mail love Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Lover is    -   from very different culture Married, fooling around?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   trader    -   explorer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   French


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Japan

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   actual description of hetero sex Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Alessandro Baricco Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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