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In the Shadow of the Cypress

Cover of In the Shadow of the Cypress

In the Shadow of the Cypress

A Novel
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In 1906, the Chinese in California lived in the shadows. Their alien customs, traditions, and language hid what they valued from their neighbors . . . and left them open to scorn and prejudice. Their communities were ruled -- and divided -- by the necessity of survival among the many would-be masters surrounding them, by struggles between powerful tongs, and by duty to their ancestors.

Then, in the wake of natural disaster, fate brought to light artifacts of incredible value along the Monterey coast: an ancient Chinese jade seal and a plaque inscribed in a trio of languages lost to all but scholars of antiquity. The path to the truth, however, would prove to be as tangled as the roots of the ancient cypress that had guarded these treasures for so long, for there are some secrets the Chinese were not ready to share.

Nearly a century would pass before an unconventional young American scientist unearths evidence of this great discovery and its mysterious disappearance. He begins to assemble a new generation of explorers to resume the perilous search into the ocean's depth . . . and the shadows of history.

This striking debut novel by a masterful writer weaves together two fascinating eras into one remarkable tale. In the Shadow of the Cypress depicts California in all its multicultural variety, with a suspense that draws the reader inexorably on until the very last word.

In 1906, the Chinese in California lived in the shadows. Their alien customs, traditions, and language hid what they valued from their neighbors . . . and left them open to scorn and prejudice. Their communities were ruled -- and divided -- by the necessity of survival among the many would-be masters surrounding them, by struggles between powerful tongs, and by duty to their ancestors.

Then, in the wake of natural disaster, fate brought to light artifacts of incredible value along the Monterey coast: an ancient Chinese jade seal and a plaque inscribed in a trio of languages lost to all but scholars of antiquity. The path to the truth, however, would prove to be as tangled as the roots of the ancient cypress that had guarded these treasures for so long, for there are some secrets the Chinese were not ready to share.

Nearly a century would pass before an unconventional young American scientist unearths evidence of this great discovery and its mysterious disappearance. He begins to assemble a new generation of explorers to resume the perilous search into the ocean's depth . . . and the shadows of history.

This striking debut novel by a masterful writer weaves together two fascinating eras into one remarkable tale. In the Shadow of the Cypress depicts California in all its multicultural variety, with a suspense that draws the reader inexorably on until the very last word.

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  • OverDrive WMA Audiobook
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  • Reading Level:
    9 - 12

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About the Author-
  • Thomas Steinbeck began his career on the 1960s as a motion picture cinematographer and photojournalist in Vietnam. He serves on the board of the Board of Directors of The Stella Adler Theater and The National Steinbeck Center. He has written numerous dramatic adaptations of his father's work as well as a number of original documentaries. Thomas Steinbeck lives on the central coast of California with his wife.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine An Irishman of uncertain character discovers ancient Chinese artifacts in a cypress grove near Monterey, California, in the early 1900s. As a result of that discovery, the lives of the Tong elders and a Stanford marine biologist are intertwined in a series of events that will not be fully understood until, a century later, two graduate students team up to investigate them. Jeff Harding's soothing voice and credible accents keep the listener on track as the plot changes points of view and time periods. This literary novel benefits from Harding's pacing, subtle inflections, and sensitive changes in volume, especially in the first part, which consists of journal entries. The story is so convincingly woven from a factual base that the listener often forgets this is a novel. C.B.L. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
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    Brilliance Audio
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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A Novel
Thomas Steinbeck
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Thomas Steinbeck
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