Author: Ana Johns
Publisher: Park Row
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
One of the best Japanese literature selections that we’ve seen!
In 1957, tensions continue to run high in American occupied Japan. The Japanese industry is still working on recovery and families that previously enjoyed a lavish lifestyle are looking at diminished returns. Naoko Nakamura’s family is facing this possibility and her father arranges a marriage to try to solidify a partnership for his company. Naoko has her own plans as she has given her heart to an American sailor and wants to live for true happiness. When her family discovers that she has conceived his child, it causes a huge amount of disgrace and she is outcast while her beau is on an American tour. The consequences of her choice will haunt her all the days of her life and cause unknown ramifications for future generations.
Tori Kovac has been taking care of her dying father when she discovers a letter in his mail from Japan. After he dies, she reads the letter and begins to discover that the man she has always known as her father had another life that she never knew about. As the secrets begin to unravel, she wonders if she ever truly knew her father. Without hesitation, Tori sets off for Japan to unravel the mystery that her father left in his wake.
I’m a huge fan of literature set in Japan and this may be the best that I’ve read. It’s a time slip novel crossing between 1957 and present day. The amount of research that was put into writing this book is incredible. Throughout Naoko’s story, everything felt like I was right there along side her during the time period. From understanding the culture at the time to the emotions that were being felt within the country. The pain that Naoko experienced was also so raw that it could have only been based on a true story, which is very sad indeed. My eyes stung with tears as I read what had happened to these poor women during a dark period. I’m glad that the author felt compelled to bring this era to light to help people understand what occurred so that we can learn from it as a society. I also enjoyed that this was a novel free from foul language, which shows that a great story can be accomplished just on the merits.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.