The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Gail Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight.
It is Tokyo in 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms, two orphaned brothers are growing up with their loving grandparents. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows unusual skill at sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of creating hard-carved masks for actors in the Noh theater. In an exquisitely moving story that spans almost 30 years, Gail Tsukiyama draws us irresistibly into the world of the brothers and the women who love them.
"Another great story from Ms. Tsukyama"
China, 1957: Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society. “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.” Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Ying’s husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp for “reeducation”. Once again, Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.
"Excellent book about China revolution."
As World War II threatens their comfortable life in Hong Kong, young Joan and Emma Lew escape with their family to spend the war years in Macao. When they return home, Emma has developed a deep interest in travel and new experiences, while Joan has turned to movies and thoughts of romance to escape the problems of ordinary life.
"Like listening to someone read their diary"