Written by B. Jeanne Shibahara
A whisk-you-away, thought-provoking novel. Desert-dweller Meryl travels to Japan, returns a WWII flag, and brings home an understanding of life that opens her heart for the unexpected.
“In Japan…everywhere…red strings tie all people we meet together. Some strings are weak. Some have tangles. Some strong.”
Meryl–Vietnam War widow–misses her grown son, feels left out after her father’s recent marriage. A WWII Japanese flag falls into her hands. The gentle push of a love-struck professor starts her adventure–take the flag home. From the neon of Osaka, to the ancient capital Nara, to the forests of Akita, the trail follows British and US expats, a newspaper reporter, factory manager, ikebana teacher, a Matagi hunter and winds through Japanese culture, past and present. A story of shared humanity and love “in the simplest things.”
B. Jeanne Shibahara’s skilful narrative voice and comic touch bring joy to this truly heart-moving, transpacific story. There’s something in it for everyone, everywhere.
A Sparkling Read!
This is a sparkling read, and one I have loved so much!
Meryl has never got over the death of her husband; with her now-grown son living and working abroad she depends on her dog, Freckles, for company. Some unexpected news, a surprise gift and a little encouragement sees her setting off for Japan with a flag from a WWII Japanese soldier in the hope she can track down his family. This is the story of Meryl’s adventure.
When I was first contacted by the author about reading and reviewing her novel, I was thrilled as I have a vested interest in Japan. My daughter taught English in Japan for many years and even got married there and is now living back in Scotland with her husband and their Scottish-Japanese children; therefore I possibly know more than the average Scot about the country and the culture, and have a thirst to find out more.
A wonderful tale, beautifully told. Yes, I loved all the cultural details and feel I learned quite a bit from reading this book, but even without my interest in all things Japanese it is a riveting story which kept my attention throughout. Both fascinating and gripping it is written in an easy style with lots of different characters, each with their own story to tell whilst all the time connected to the big picture. I’ve been enthralled, delighted and at times shocked by the details but, at all times, fabulously entertained. Beautifully structured, very well written in an engaging and satisfying style, it was an easy read. I have no hesitation in recommending this novel to everyone, and it’s straight five star read – no doubt about it.
My very grateful thanks to author B. Jeanne Shibahara for my copy. As always, all opinions are both strictly honest and entirely my own.
Tags: historical saga, Japan, women’s fiction
- Format: ebook
- Size: 259 pages
- Publisher: amazon media
- Publication Date: 2 November 2019
- Purchase Links: amazon
Jeanne studied fiction writing from Mark Harris (Bang the Drum Slowly) and copywriting from Beth Luey (Editorial Consultant, Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Ed.) in the MA program for creative writing at Arizona State University.
In Japan, she has taught English at a private university, written articles for research groups, and created jazz lyrics for composer Hajime Kitamura.
Daughter of a US military officer, she married into a family of calligraphy, ikebana, and tea ceremony teachers, shamisen player, kimono fabric artist, business entrepreneur, and architect. Her home is in Nara City, the ancient capital of Japan.