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Author: Kerri Sakamoto

This book came highly recommended from one source and… not so much from another. I hadn’t heard of it, but knowing that it was about Japan got my interest enough at least to read it. My mom, who is the one who didn’t enjoy it, thought that at least I’d be more interested in it than she was.

The book spoke a lot about World War II and I really enjoyed reading some passages, such as the letters writting by a kamikaze pilot to his girlfriend, and about some of the effects of dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many parts about how expatriots and foreigners were treated really, in an odd way, felt familiar to me.

Unfortunately these good bits only came intermitently in what was otherwise a very confusing narrative. There wasn’t much sense of who all the characters where, and even more annoyingly, what they were doing at any given point. I often had moments where I thought that there were three people standing in a park, and then a fourth person leaves the room. Fourth person? Room? Or at least similar things. At one point I thought they were in their apartment and they were actually on a train. At another point I thought they were on a beach and they were at a museum. The narrative changes from dialogue to a mere description of what was discussed, and then back again, as if this was supposed to be a perfectly natural flow.

This book had a lot of potential, but the rough, confusing narrative and completely forgettable characters didn’t leave any lasting effect on me.

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