The Bonsai Tree

Published by John Murray, London 1983.
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 1983.
Reissued by Marshall Cavendish, Singapore 2018.
Jun Nagai, heir to a prominent Japanese business empire, takes his new English wife Kate back to Japan after their marriage in London. His powerful mother, who controls the family business, finds it hard to accept her foreign daughter-in-law and sets out to destroy the marriage. Fighting for their independence, both Jun and Kate are pulled between two cultures with disastrous effect.

Thrown into a strange and incomprehensible world, where the role of a wife is different from all she has known, Kate is soon stripped of her romantic illusions. Her story highlights not only the contrast between Japan and the Western world, but the barriers that face the foreigner who tries to assimilate in a country that for much of its history closed its doors to the outsider.

‘…Chand uses spare, delicate language… The magic of her book is its simplicity – the uniqueness of the characters and the plausibility of their destinies.’

New York Times Book Review 8th January 1984.

‘’…the work of a sensitive and meticulous writer…The Bonsia Tree is a considerable achievement both as a novel and as a social document; it is written in a style of rare elegance that matches the unusual demands of its subject.’

British Book News October 1983.