Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton
Print and e-book, 299 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2015 by Penguin Books

In the tradition of Memoirs of a Geisha and The Piano Teacher, a heart-wrenching debut novel of family, forgiveness, and the exquisite pain of love.

When Amaterasu Takahashi opens the door of her Philadelphia home to a badly scarred man claiming to be her grandson, she doesn’t believe him. Her grandson and her daughter, Yuko, perished nearly forty years ago during the bombing of Nagasaki.

But the man carries with him a collection of sealed private letters that open a Pandora’s Box of family secrets Ama had sworn to leave behind when she fled Japan. She is forced to confront her memories of the years before the war: of the daughter she tried too hard to protect and the love affair that would drive them apart, and even further back, to the long, sake-pouring nights at a hostess bar where Ama first learned that a soft heart was a dangerous thing. Will Ama allow herself to believe in a miracle?

My thoughts about A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding ~~

I love stories about Japan, something about the Japanese culture has always fascinated me. I also love stories centering around the time of the war; the stories of people's strength and resilience. How could this book not capture my attention?

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding is a wonderful, well written story of the life of Ama, a woman who survives the bombing of Nagasaki. She loses her daughter and grandson in the blast and she and her husband move to America to try to escape the memories. Years later, a man shows up on her doorstep, claiming to be her grandson, the grandson who she is sure did not survive Nagasaki.

This story show us how the past, the present, and the future are all so connected and intertwined, so much more than we can even imagine. Memories come flooding back to Ama as she tries to understand who this man is who shows up on her doorstep.

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding is Jackie Copleton's first book and she has written an amazing debut novel. I am excited to see what comes next from her!

I received a copy of this book from First to Read 
in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the author

Jackie Copleton studied English at Cambridge University before teaching in Japan for three years. She has worked in local, regional and national newspapers in the UK and abroad. A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding is her first book and is inspired by her time living in Nagasaki.

Connect with Jackie

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