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TLC Review: The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns

Title: The Woman in the White Kimono
Author: Ana Johns
Year Published: 2019

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 323
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)Japan and USA

FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for TLC Book Review

Summary (from the back of the book): 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.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Ana: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Review: It took me a bit to get into this book, but I don't think the book is at fault. I had a lot going on so couldn't devote as much time to reading as I usually can. Once I was in, I was all in!

I am someone who appreciates a good book cover and I really like this one. It evokes a feeling a tradition, beauty, and calm, all words that I would use to describe this book. The book chapters alternate between 1950s Japan, when post-war tensions between the US and Japan are high, and current-day in the US. It isn't clear to the reader exactly how the two worlds are connected until about half way through when relationships begin to solidify and the truth is slowly revealed.

Naoka and Tori narrate alternating chapters (a format that I really like) as they tell their stories and work their way toward one another. I enjoyed both storylines and both characters; they are rich, well developed, and interesting. Reading the author's afterword is super interesting as we learn that much of this novel is based on the author's family. She also explains the real historical background of many aspects of the novel, bringing a even greater richness to it all.

Challenges for which this counts: 

Review tour:

Tuesday, May 21st: Write Read Life
Wednesday, May 22nd: Tina Says
Thursday, May 23rd: The Hungry Bookworm
Friday, May 24th: Asha Reads and @ashareads
Monday, May 27th: Tar Heel Reader and @tarheelreader
Tuesday, May 28th: Read Eat Repeat
Tuesday, May 28th: Lori’s Reading Corner – author guest post
Wednesday, May 29th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, May 30th: Helen’s Book Blog
Thursday, May 30th: The Baking Bookworm
Monday, June 3rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, June 4th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, June 5th: @chaptersofmar
Thursday, June 6th: Eliot’s Eats
Friday, June 7th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, June 10th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Tuesday, June 11th: Books & Bindings
Wednesday, June 12th: Laura’s Reviews
Thursday, June 13th: Book by Book
Monday, June 17th: @oddandbookish
Tuesday, June 18th: The Book Return

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