Happy almost weekend!
Thrilled to share with you my review for this beautiful story that transported me to 1950s Japan! Thank you so much Lisa for my invitation to the tour!👘
𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥. 𝐄𝐯𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞. 𝐌𝐞𝐬𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠.
Ana Johns swept me away with her words and her stunning storytelling. Two women, two countries, thousands of miles and decades of years apart, but there is something that binds them. Japan 1957 Naoko finds herself caught between love, culture, and family obligations. Naoko is 17 and her parents have arranged a marriage for her, a marriage that will help her family’s business out immensely. The problem is Naoko is in love with another man, an American soldier. Not only does this not go over well with her family, but it does not go over well with most of Japan who still sees America as the enemy in this post WWII era. But Naoko is determined to follow her heart, but how much will she lose in the process? The US, present day Tori is taking care of her ailing father when she discovers a letter full of secrets. After her dad passes away she sells his beloved Cadillac and takes a journey to Japan to find out the truth.
Beautifully told, I was completely mesmerized by Miss Johns’ writing. I know I’ve mentioned this before in a review but I find the eastern culture fascinating and I am always excited to read about this part of the world. I truly had no idea there was so much hatred towards America in Japan after WWII, but why wouldn’t there be? I could only imagine how challenging this relationship was for Naoko, although I think she was a little naïve as to what all was implied. I found her to be a bit of a contradiction she was strong and feisty, but had the innocence of a child. What she went through was horrific, and it is incredible that I have read so many books that take place in so many different parts of the world where women are subjected to similar situations. The sad thing is I’d venture to guess things like this are still going on today in certain parts of the world. While I found Naoko’s story more compelling than Tori’s, tori’s story might have been the more important one. I like how the storylines were brought together, but it sure did not end how I was hoping it would. Although there is probably more truth in tragedy.
The story seamlessly bounces between time and perspective. You will never get lost because the chapters are clearly labeled as to time and place. I really dlove the time the book spent in Japan it was so interesting. And can I just say something about these capsule hotels, I cannot imagine sleeping in one of these capsules that is only 4 feet tall? Stacked on top of each other? I’m certain I am coming across naïve or spoiled, but it just sounds very uncomfortable. Doesn’t really have anything to do with the book, Tori just stayed in one of these hotels. If I were her I would’ve stayed in one of those traditional homes turned into a hotel with steaming baths with essential oil’s, just saying. LOL all this is just to say the book was so well researched and I felt as though I was transported to Japan. Simply put this is a beautiful story full of so much culture, history, and love.
*** Big thanks to Harlequin/ Park Rowe for my copy of this book ***
About the Book
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.
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