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Descripción de editorial
Shipton Kingsgate, 40, lives in Riverwood. He’s an electrical engineer, is divorced, has one son and a drinking problem he wants to be rid of. One day he attends a talk on jade. His serendipitous interest in the stone grows to become an obsession even as he is forced to learn to discern the true stuff from false.
Shipton’s big day comes when he buys a major piece in Guangzhou, a carved white jade nine-dragon ink brush holder. He visits Harbie Throwley, resident jade expert, who appraises the carving as worth $300,000.
The government announces a registration system for jewellery and gemstones (jade included). People react in different ways: one new fad is for some take their ‘sorry’ stones overseas to their country of origin, casting them into rivers; others obtain illicit certificates falsely declaring their jade to be serpentine, thus avoiding the need for registration.
One Friday afternoon, news breaks that the registry details have been hacked and are in the hands of a crime gang who are burglarising homes on the list.
Shipton asks his son, Nathan, living in Penrith, to hide the stone while he arranges a fake copy of it in marble.
Nathan’s mother, with whom Shipton has a bitter relationship, steals the stone from Nathan. Harbie Throwley at this time drowns in Sydney Harbour under mysterious circumstances, an echo of the Slessor poem ‘Five Bells’.
Nathan, wanting to redeem himself, recalls how Harbie had a carving similar to Shipton’s hidden in her apartment which Nathan secretly filmed on his iphone. They enlist the help of Shipton’s neighbour, Sylviane, a known thief, to retrieve the jade.
Jade has been a stone valued through the ages but one needs to be able to discern true jade from false, a real hazard for people living in a modern place like Sydney
Target audience: readers of modern Australian fiction, readers of Asian-themed literature, lapidarists, jade collectors and connoisseurs, appreciators of innovative sentence writing.