“The Pure Land by Alan Spence, based on the true story which inspired Madame Butterfly, is part thrilling adventure, part lyrical reflection, and characterized by Spence’s pure vision.” Anne Donovon, Sunday Herald (UK)
The Pure Land
978-1-84195-882-8 • $14.95 • Paperback • Nov. 2007
An epic historical novel based on the remarkable life of the man who inspired Madame Butterfly
The Pure Land resurrects the dramatic life of Thomas Glover, the Scottish businessman who helped overthrow the shogun and whose tumultuous love affairs inspired the opera Madame Butterfly and the musical Miss Saigon. Alan Spence has transformed this true story into an unforgettable hundred-year saga that culminates in the annihilation of Nagasaki. The Times of London calls it “a page-turner of the first order. Not merely an engaging and vivid historical novel, but also a meditative work of art that is as finely honed as a samurai’s sword.”
The year is 1858. Thomas Glover is a gutsy eighteen-year-old in Aberdeen who grasps the chance of escape to foreign lands and takes a posting as a trader in Japan. Within ten years he amasses a great fortune, plays a huge role in modernizing Japan, and, on the other side of the law, brings about the overthrow of the shogun. Yet beneath Glover’s astonishing success lies a man cut to the heart. His love affair with a courtesana woman who, unknown to him, would bear him the son for whom he had always longedwould form a tragedy so heartrending that the story became immortal.
The Pure Land gracefully spans the feudal and the atomic ages, East and West, global history and private passion. Alan Spence has produced a modern epic, at once a rattling good adventure, a devastating love story, and a journey of the spirit.