The Woman in the White Kimono
(A BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick)
by Ana Johns
Pub Date 15 Jul 2019
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'A book that is meant to be savoured and re-read' Renita D'Silva, author of The Forgotten Daughter
Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage secures her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community. However, Naoko has fallen for an American sailor 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 Kovač, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation. Setting out to learn the truth, Tori’s journey leads her to a remote seaside village in Japan where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.
Inspired by true stories, 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.
What Reviewers and Readers Say:
'Cinematic, deeply moving, and beautifully written. I so enjoyed this' Carol Mason, author of After You Left
‘The Woman in the White Kimono is an elegant testament to the tenacity of hope, even when the bindings of cultural and familial expectations are drawn so tight. I look forward to reading more from this talented author’ Kelli Estes, bestselling author of The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
‘A well-researched piece of historical fiction, loosely inspired by the military experience of the author's father, that shines a light on a dark chapter of Japanese history that will be unfamiliar to many readers’ Booklist
‘The Woman in the White Kimono is a powerful and heartbreaking literary novel; a lush and masterful exploration of the indomitability of the human spirit set against the backdrop of post-World War II Japan. Johns's exquisite and emotionally satisfying tale spans a cultural divide to marry a mother's courageous determination to protect her daughter at any cost with a daughter's quest for truth. I loved this book!’ Karen Dionne, bestselling author of The Marsh King's Daughter
‘Johns weaves together past and present in wonderful ways ... [T]his outing is richly-researched, moving and cinematic in feel. Toronto Star
‘An excellent personal read and one I am sure many book clubs will immensely enjoy and share heartfelt concern about the facts behind the fiction’ New Books Magazine