The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns

Description

Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

Oh – I loved this beautifully written book about a young woman tracing the secret past of her family. I particularly liked the story of the past, with young, headstrong Naoko who is in love with an American. As always, redemption is a favorite theme of mine and this story was compelling, memorable, and touching.

Recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction!

Thank you for my review e-copy!

Worst-Kept Secret by Sienna Cash

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No one wants to move back home at twenty-six—especially not Charlie Michaelsen, and *especially* not if it means dealing with her overbearing sister, not to mention confronting six years’ worth of unresolved grief over her dad’s death. But when reclaiming her childhood bedroom coincides with reconnecting with her long-lost high-school sweetheart, it feels like a sign. Next door, Wade Hunter has moved home, too. Charlie hasn’t seen her neighbor since he was an awkward tween, still using the shared treehouse that had defined her own childhood. Now he’s back, a nineteen-year-old college student with secrets of his own—and embarrassingly gorgeous to boot. As her ex-boyfriend frustrates her—are they just friends with benefits?—Charlie turns more and more to the kid next door. Along the way their running dates and casual conversations give way to something that feels like anything but “just friends.” Simple lust? That’s the easy answer. But maybe there’s a deeper reason why the only person Charlie can talk to—and be real with—is the teenaged boy next door.

WORST-KEPT SECRET is a sexy, poignant tale about love, grief, family, and childhood… and how sometimes going home means growing up. (Amazon overview)

 

So – I actually know Sienna Cash but she DID NOT ask me to review her book. In fact, I purchased it for myself for my kindle through Amazon. This is a “New Adult” title – a relatively new genre that is geared to 18-25 year olds. I have had some challenges with this genre in the past as I find the protagonists (female in every one I’ve read) to be completely self-centered and annoying, and the stories often without merit. I chalk that up to my being old (50 this year!) and rather old-fashioned and married. However, this novel was different I just loved this book! This was a fun and fulfilling read, where Charlie actually realized her complete self-centeredness. Charlie was not a perfect person but her imperfections were at times hysterically funny. What I liked best about Charlie – unlike some other novels I’ve read in this genre – was that she didn’t go around thinking she was better than everyone else and that she was entitled to better treatment than the next person just because she was – I don’t know – young? pretty? something else? She was very real.

I think another reason I liked this book so much was that it took place outside of Boston in a town very similar to the one where I work (which I do not think is a coincidence). It’s always great to be able to perfectly picture a setting.

So pick up this book if you are looking for a great end of summer read. I hope that there is more to come of Charlie’s story. Keep writing, Sienna! 🙂