Image via WikipediaHistorical plan of the Temple of Confucius at Qufu, 1912.
Dudley Court Press
Forgive the pun, but in my opinion, Confucius Jade by Frederick Fisher is a magnificent literary Gem! It is also a suspenseful drama! Fisher writes with extensive knowledge and experience of both the Orient and gemstones and has successfully integrated both into a memorable, meaningful novel! Easily a 10 in a 1-5 ranking in my opinion!
Centering on the Family Kong, Kong Wan Yi is the narrator for the majority of the book. Indeed the story begins right before her birth as part of the family find it necessary to leave their home. First, let me clarify that the above has been anglicized--the family's well-known ancestor is K'ung Fu-tze who lived twenty-five hundred years ago.
We all still know and quote him as...Confucius:
The Master said, To fail to speak to a man who is capable of benefiting, is to let a man go to waste. To speak to a man who is incapable of benefiting is to let one's words go to waste. A wise man lets neither man nor words go to waste. (p. 48)Kong Wan Yi was born in 1936 in Burma, where Fan Shi and Chen Wu Xia adopted her, when her parents died on the trip. Cousin Deng Huai completed the small family who soon began to prosper in this new land. Fan Shi was a scholar who automatically began teaching wherever he was and the family soon was well respected.
Perhaps it was fate that Wan Yi and Deng Huai fell in love and were allowed to marry, after reviewing the family connections. Whether Mei Hua was born as she was due to that marriage, it was irrelevant. She was a much-loved beautiful flower that would never mature past the age of 7, yet it was Mei Hua who, perhaps, played the most important role--she found the pretty rock that was too heavy for her small arms to carry back home for her collection.
But it was to both Wan Yi and Mei Hua that He came--Shou Xing Lao, God of Longevity came to show them how the pretty rock was to be used. Destiny was now in control of the Kong Family's future...
Finally, it was to Fan Shi that the final vision appeared--a university bearing the name of K'ung Fu-tze was to be built at Qufu, birthplace of Confucius.
The adventure begins as three men--a Japanese pearl magnate, an Arabian oil sheik and an American media mogul--are selected to bid to purchase the Jade twins of Shou Xing Lao. Ah, yes, there is so much in this book that only highlights can be included! And, indeed the beautiful cover of the book reveals the creations that came from those pretty rocks. And the asking price was a minimum of $1Billion. But, here, too, destiny was in charge--Shou Xing Lao would decide where and with whom they would ultimately live. Each of the men were quite willing to pay for longevity; their families were not!
Rich in cultural and historical background, plan to keep this one for your personal library. Perhaps, long life may come to us who read this wonderful book, Confucius Jade by Frederick Fisher... If not, we have definitely succeeded in being visited by Fu Xing, God of Happiness!
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