Everything Under the Sky

Everything Under the Sky

by Matilde Asensi


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061458408
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/11/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Matilde Asensi is the author of many internationally bestselling thrillers, including The Last Cato. She lives in Alicante, Spain.

Matilde Asensi, periodista y escritora española, ha publicado varios libros bestsellers, incluyendo su primera novela, El salón de ámbar, que ha sido traducida a varios idiomas, Iacobus que la situó en los primeros puestos de las listas bestsellers y El último catón que la confirmó como la autora de su generación de mayor éxito de crítica y público. Actualmente reside en Alicante, España.

What People are Saying About This

James Rollins

“A riveting journey into a past shrouded in mystery and literary allegory. . . . A thriller to open the eyes and stir the heart.”

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Everything Under the Sky 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elvira DePoulain is a middle aged artist living in Paris in 1923. Although she has not lived with her husband Remy in twenty years, they are on good terms. When she receives notice that he has passed away, she travels to China with her orphaned young niece Fernanda to settle his affairs. When she arrives she is stunned by what awaits her. Remy died heavily in debt and under French law, she is responsible for payment. Still in shock, she is further disturbed when Paddy, an Irish journalist tells her that her husband was not randomly killed by thieves but was murdered by the Green Gang, as they believed he possessed an ancient carved box. They did not find the box, but Elvira does. A Chinese antiquarian- Lao Jiang - explains the box holds clues to a wealth of treasure. He persuades her to accompany him on the quest. She agrees as she needs the money to pay off Remy's debts. Asensi does a wonderful job with descriptions of China and it's culture. Particularily fascinating are the explanations of the concepts of Tao and Feng Shui. Her puzzles are well thought out and rival any adventure book of this type- The Da Vinci Code for example. Where I found myself wanting more was in the characters themselves. Although Elvira is portrayed as a strong, independent woman who grows even more along the trek, I just didn't buy it. Her pronouncements seem forced and awkwardly placed, especially those dealing with her niece. Much more interesting was Fernanda and the young servant boy Biao. Their youthful enthusiasm and intelligence came across as much more realistic. Lao Jiang seems to be written as a bit of a caricature, as does Paddy the Irishman. We know Lao Jiang is not quite what he seems with his brooding silences and taciturn manner. All in all, not a bad read, but not as good as I would have hoped. Looking for something similar? Try James Rollins.
icedtea on LibraryThing 28 days ago
An adventure in 1920s China with an Indiana Jones vibe. It¿s excellently researched and I thought the exposition was done fairly well - the reader learns about things like concepts of Taoism and feng shui. Chinese culture, beliefs, language and history are woven into the story and into the puzzles. I liked the challenges of getting through the multilevel underground tomb in particular. I felt the setting and puzzles were the strongest and most distinguishing parts of the book. There are some endnotes, about 50 of them.
vernefan on LibraryThing 28 days ago
*Yangtze Treasure Hunt*Elvira, and Fernanda, aunt and niece, drift lazily down the Yangtze River in the early 1920's. An odd place indeed for a free-spirited Spanish senorita and her ward, but peculiar and unusual circumstances conspire to have these ladies traveling to exotic Shanghai. Before the story begins, Fernanda, our dowdy young niece, is thrown into the life of her Bohemian aunt due to the recent death of her parents. Also before the first chapter reveals the nature of their adventure, strong-willed Elvira has been recently notified of the death of her estranged husband who has resided in China for many years. Soon after, Elvira, niece in tow, is immediately outbound onboard a cruise ship heading for the Orient. Her intensions are to quickly settle her husband's affairs so that she can do an about-face back to her bungalow in Paris where she happily paints to her hearts delight, living the carefree spinster life. Disembarking after a lengthy voyage, Elvira is brought to her husband Remy's oriental home, only to encounter more tragic news. It seems Remy was not only dead, but has been murdered by imperial assassins who believed he was in possession of a valuable lost Chinese artifact. Without time to catch her breath from this news, and to add insult to injury, Elvira is also informed that Remy's carefree attitude with gambling, women, and an opium addiction, has left her not only penniless but with major debts. It seems her late husband was a bit of a disreputable rogue, leaving Elvira nothing but shame. With regret, an attorney informs her she must sell her Paris home and the grand house in Shanghai in order to settle these monumental unpaid bills. Inquiring about this mysterious lost artifact that has now catapulted Elvira's once happy life into turmoil, she learns that this valued piece must still be hidden in the house, yet undiscovered. But she is being watched. Her every move, every breathe is observed by assassins called the Green Gang. They lurk nearby, knowing it's just a matter of time before Elvira locates the piece, so they can attack again, stopping at nothing to get what they're after. With this new information the two ladies lives are now in peril and they must race against time to locate the artifact that will then lead them to the secret of the largest treasure in the history of mankind, lost for thousands of years that has been spoken of in a Chinese legend for many generations. Everything Under the Sky by Matilde Asensi is a marvelous historical adventure, an old-fashioned treasure hunt on a grand scale destined for the big screen. What makes this novel shine so bright is the camaraderie and determination of two highly unlikely ladies eager to take on the challenge, and their new companions for the journey. Traveling by their sides are a wise old Chinese antiquarian, a jolly Irish journalist, and a young boy on the verge of manhood who acts as their traveling servant. Whether sailing on a Sampan down the Yangtze, diving under bridges through dangerous waters, digging beneath underground tunnels, dodging bullets, deciphering riddles and cryptic maps, or practicing Tai Chi with Monks in a high mountain monastery, the characters engage in a high action packed adventure the reader will not be able to put down. Also injected into this delightful story are infused doses of Tao philosophy, instructions from the I Ching, training of the martial arts, and lessons in Chinese brush calligraphy. This spectacular novel set in an exotic land is a blend of Indiana Jones, The Da Vinci Code, Anna and the King of Siam, The Karate Kid and the old TV show Kung Fu, gently stirred together for one bubbling cauldron of fun. Asensi's writing skills and plot development balanced with believable characters should allow this author to climb up a few notches on the ladder of literary success as this, her second book, hits the best seller list and many reading groups.
lexxa83 on LibraryThing 28 days ago
Loved this book! It had great characters, memorable setting, and exciting plot. I loved Elvira, the main character of the book. She reminded myself of me so many times throughout the book, just in the things she said or thought, and in her constant surprise in herself, and of all the brave things she was accomplishing. Another thing I really like about the book is that the author tied up all the loose ends at the end of the book, and allowed the reader to see how the lives of the characters ended up years after their adventure. I think that as a reader this is a wonderful thing, as many times you are left wondering, OK....so they made it to the end of their adventure, but then what? It makes the story and characters seem so much more believable. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, yet plausible adventure read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic is the history of  Elvira, spanish woman in China,  the author a wonderful job with descriptions of China and it's culture. Particularily fascinating are the explanations of the concepts of Tao and Feng Shui.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Spanish artist Elvira De Poulain is notified that her husband Remy was murdered by the Green Gang assassins in China. Stunned but not shocked as her late debauched spouse seemed to get into trouble all the time, she leaves accompanied by her orphaned niece Fernanda from Paris for Shanghai to bring his body home for burial. In Shanghai, Elvira feels out of place and looks forward to returning to the comfort of Europe. However, she quickly realizes she has major issues to deal with as her self-indulgent husband ran up unbelievable debts due to his vices of gambling, hookers, and opium. She learns he was killed because he owned a priceless box that allegedly contains clues to the burial location of China's First Emperor and his treasure others demanded he hand over his find, but he refused and died for his stubbornness. Elvira considers seeking the booty and soon finds allies: fiftyish pot bellied Irish journalist Patrick Tichborne, a white bearded Celestial local antiquarian Mr. Jiang and an orphaned young servant Biao. --- This is an entertaining 1920s saga that fans will enjoy as the no nonsense European and her niece slowly acclimate to China while seeking the tomb and dodging killers. The story line is driven the by the quintet who consists of the artist, two youths and two older men whereas their adversaries are professional assassins. EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN is an entertaining tale as the audience wonders whether Elvira will survive her physical ordeal and solve the complex clues, get killed, or flee back to France. --- Harriet Klausner