REVIEWS A Thousand Years Of Love

Wow, February 21, 2007
By C. I. Duchesneau “Shadowfox13” (California)

 

Very lyrical and sensual the story flows like a murmuring stream.
I’m not even finished yet and I’m quite hooked by it already! ^.^V

 

Quite wonderful. Cara Yoshizumi Exquisitely detailed poetic imagery evokes Heian Japan and the varied forms which relationships take amongst the Japanese nobility and the society around them. Inspired by The Tale of Genji, it is a much easier read and a great introduction to the culture of beauty, intrigue, longing, passions and tragedies in the medieval court society of Japan.

 

Cara Yoshizumi

“I really enjoyed reading your book! I felt as if I were transported to
another era.”
Susan F, Santa Barbara

Your writing has a very unique quality, one I’ve never seen before, (dreamlike, poetic), and the plot and characters are excellent too. Looking forward to your next book, when will it be out?
Debora

Easy to read, smooth exposition, logical plot; A telling quest; the words flow as the ideas flow
JK

Debbie- reading your book FABULOUS FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bonnie

OH MY GOD, you have such a great imagination. How did you write that book? Your descriptions and storyline are fascinating.
ann

“I am half-way through Avia Belle Moon’s “A Thousand
Years of Love” . If you haven’t picked it up, I highly
recommend you do so. Indeed, even through the
masterful translations of Waley, Siedensticker, Royall
Tyler and the brilliant studies by Ivan Morris and others, Heian culture and times are
frustratingly distant, foreign, alien, inaccessible – at least for
me. What is wonderful about Avia Belle Moon’s novel is that in
addition to being delightful reading, it provides the average Western
reader with access to the culture and times of Lady Murasaki in a
way no other modern novel I have read – English or Japanese –
does. I plan to post more substantive thoughts on the book
but I just wanted to pass on my initial delight and
high recommendations for this book.”

 

Rodney Horikawa
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Campus Community Partnerships Team

FROM THE DAILY YOMIURI-

 

“Best-selling Irish novelist Maeve Binchy’s latest
book, Nights of Rain and Stars, can be summed up in a
paragraph: Travelers from Ireland, Britain, Germany
and the United States are thrown together by chance on
a tiny Greek island where they soon become friends.
Each one is fleeing a different romantic or family
problem back home, but because they give one another
excellent advice each of their stories comes to a more
or less happy conclusion. It’s a simple, warmhearted
popcorn novel, but it can’t hurt to read one of those
from time to time. It can even be refreshing.
The same general conclusion may be drawn about A
Thousand Years of Love by California-Japan transplant
Avia Belle Moon, though her mostly Japanese characters
live in Heian-period Kyoto, and the word “warmhearted”
would have to be replaced with “mildly erotic.”
This is popcorn with an extra sprinkling of salt.
In a plot featuring a host of characters with titles
rather than names, a Lieutenant of the Imperial Police
is wooing young Lady Kaishi in nocturnal troubadour
style, but she is secretly in love with her
half-brother Yoryusen, who allows himself to be
seduced by the Master of Divination even while
nurturing an obsession for the Dragon Woman, who
delights in her own wicked reputation as the “Whore of
the Palace” and counts a hapless Archer Priest as her
latest conquest. Despite such a plot’s inherent
raciness, the sex scenes are more perfervid than
perverted. The author belongs to the old-fashioned,
eyes-averted school of erotic writing. Just as Moon
brings one of her couples to the point of
consummation, she cuts to: “A tall candleholder thrust
into the darkness of the night. Outside an owl sitting
on the branch of the cherry tree cocked its head,
listening to the sound of a woman’s voice crying
out…The wooden doors of the gate stood exposed, wide
open.” Like the owl, we can guess what’s happening
inside, but unlike him we can savor the wonderful campiness
of it all. And there’s plenty more where that came
from. One haughty character actually fans himself in
indignation, and a villain chuckles evilly while
stroking his mustache. In fact, various characters
spend so much time caressing their own throats,
breasts and faces while lost in reverie that any
dramatic adaptation of this story would have to
include the Divinyls’ song “I Touch Myself” as part of
the soundtrack.
But make no mistake: A Thousand Years of Love is a fun
read. I actually missed my station one night while
reading this book on the train, and at 178 pages it is
good for several train rides despite the relatively
large print.
Call A Thousand Years of Love a guilty pleasure, and
call Moon the Maeve Binchy of the Heian period. ”

 

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/index-e.htm
Meet the Maeve Binchy of the Heian period
Tom Baker Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

“Set in Japan during the Heian period (710 -1185) a
period remembered chiefly for cultural advancement and
peace, A Thousand Years Of Love is an ambitious,
meticulously researched, at times risque historical
tale. It follows a Heian courtesan who embarks upon a
spiritual quest to Hangzhou, China in search of her
mother’s gravesite. Rich in detail and written in a
graceful, weightless style, the book is a shoe-in for
anyone who enjoyed The Tale Of Genji or who seeks to
find out more about Japanese history through a
pleasant read, particularly this rather free-livin’
period when the heaviest influences on Japanese
culture still came from the “east” rather than the
“west”. ”
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/index-e.htm
From the Kanazawa Convention Times-
http://www.nsknet.or.jp/heartkcb/KCT/issues/Summer2004/misc/misc.htm

SUCH A POETIC BEAUTIFUL ROMANTIC CREATIVE – TO SAY THE
LEAST – PIECE OF ART THAT I REFUSE TO PUT DOWN.”
Genie, Santa Barbara, USA

“Admit it; You’ve tried to plow through “The Tale of
Genji,” the classic of Japanese literature. But many
classics are in Clifton Fadiman’s words, “more revered
than read;” Genji can be like that,and the subtle love
intrigues of the royal household can be hard going.
Now Kyoto author Avia Belle Moon has written a novel
that is also set in the Heian Period but may be more
accessible to many of today’s readers, even if not a
classic…Moon’s research shows throughout the short
novel, which is filled with details of daily life that
help bring the era alive more than another visit to
another shrine or temple.”
From Kansai Time Out magazine, July 2004

“An interesting read. Powerful spiritually, and I love
all the little details about Heian
times. Clearly very well researched with some
fascinating insights and also a strong
message as to the transience of even the most delicate
cherry blossom petal. I liked
the little poems- conversations which really gave the
idea of the importance and
everyday feel of that form of correspondence, and also
the color and scents of the
kimono and incense.”
Judy Kendall
writer, poet, U.K
Judy Kendall, Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Salford and the author of The Drier the Brighter

“This book captures the luxury of the Heian era very
well. The Japanese people love the duality of “light
and shade,” (inyo). The description of the color
combinations and design of the kimonos, seen through
light and shadows conveys this feeling very well, as
similarily expressed in Tanizaki Junichiro’s book,
“The Worship of Shade,” (inei no raisan.)
People who are interested in Japanese pop/trendy
culture will enjoy this book as well, as it contains
omyoji characters(Chinese master of divination) and
androgyny seen in girls’ manga.
I also felt the book would be suitable to study
English,as the letter size is very large and easy to
read.”
Setsuko Tamogami, translator

“Amazingly well-written, fascinating. The words flow,
history comes alive. Congratulations on such beautiful
work.”
Birger, New York

“If a book is a kind of war challenged by the author,
then Ms. Avia Belle Moon conquered me by her tranquil,
musk fragrant, shimmering story. Since I got this
book, my reading has been interrupted many times. But
everytime I restart my reading, I am warmly welcomed
by her beautiful sentences. The story is not such a
big show, but the author has succeeded in weaving her
intention of joining the ying and yang in a brilliant
picturesque story of the Heian era. I enjoyed her
graceful storytelling and I enjoyed the fantastic
story. Honestly, I am enjoying your story most of all.
Your description is so warm and beautiful that I am
given many picturesque images as I’m reading. I feel
as if I’m watching the vivid scenes of a movie.”
Michie Nomura, English teacher

“The writing is very beautiful, and I can really see
in my mind’s eye the rooms, scenery, and also imagine
how the people of that period felt. I like
the scenes where Lady Kaishi is waving her fan
furiously in front of her face.”
Kyoko Nishida, Translator, “Barefoot Gen-The story of
Hiroshima.”

“The Heian Period is written in such detail it’s
scary! While reading I really felt that Japan was a
part of Korea and China, unlike other novels I’ve read
on the Heian Period.”
Yukari Kimura, “Barefoot Gen-The story of Hiroshima.”

“I was delighted to not be bombarded with words as I
read “A Thousand Years
Of Love” by Avia Belle Moon. The sensitive manner in
which a story of
detailed daily life unfolds during the Heian period in
Japan captivated this
reader effortlessly. My eyes were opened to a totally
fascinating period of
history through layers of characters, color and
mystery.”
Bruce Wilson, Japan 2004

“Your book was wonderful! It was so colorful and
picturesque.”
Patsy Sakamoto, Hiroshima

“I found the detail bringing me directly into the
locations of the characters and into their lives. The
tension exuded in the first few pages draws the reader
into the story and wanting more.”
Chris Mcmahon
USA

A Thousand Years of Love by Avia Belle Moon
Finalist for the 2006 Word/Work Self-Published Book Awards
“Make no mistake: A Thousand Years of Love is a fun read. I actually missed my station one night while reading this book on the train, and at 178 pages it is good for several train rides despite the relatively large print. ”
The Daily Yomiuri, February 2005

“Rich in detail and written in a graceful, weightless style, the book is a shoe-in for anyone who enjoyed The Tale Of Genji or who seeks to find out more about Japanese history through a pleasant read, particularly this rather free-living period when the heaviest influences on Japanese culture still came from the “east” rather than the “west”. ” From the Kanazawa Convention Times
“Admit it; you’ve tried to plow through “The Tale of Genji,” the classic of Japanese literature. But many classics are in Clifton Fadiman’s words, “more revered than read;” Genji can be like that,and the subtle love intrigues of the royal household can be hard going. Now Kyoto author Avia Belle Moon has written a novel that is also set in the Heian Period but may be more accessible to many of today’s readers, even if not a classic…Moon’s research shows throughout the short novel, which is filled with details of daily life that help

PRESS RELEASE

5/8/2006

“A Thousand Years of Love” has been selected as a finalist in the 2006 Word Work Self-Published Book Awards presented by
GS LITERATURE, ASOUND
Media Darlings Art, Literature and Sound, a leading advocate of artist’s rights, based in Northern California’s Silicon Valley,

http://www.mediadarlings.org/wordwork/finalists.html

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