The novel starts off with the main character training ex-convicts to be able to work in successful jobs against the odds because of the abuse they suffered. She has her own insights to these women because of her own abuse from her ex. When her father dies it sets off a train of events.
The reader gets a sense of the characters from scenes about days past. How the characters came to where they are. The distance the family has. At times the pace is quite slow, waiting for something to happen. It sets a scene of the past, but it does feel that there needs to be a little bit less detail, and quicker into the main plot line. It shows the different sides of the two siblings, their life, how the events lead up to what they are doing.
The novel picks up interest when it goes back to 1952 in Tokyo, Japan. That brings a bit more interest as the father that died wrote a story/novel about his experiences in Japan working as a doctor in the Army hospital. Meeting a Japanese hostess, in which they fall for each other, fighting against the odds and the criticisms of that time.
The culture is unique, easily created and understood to a certain degree. The author does create a realistic portrayal of the submissive Japanese women.
The detail that the character goes into with the sex life spices up the plot, and the interesting interactions they have. It can be a bit mundane at times. I did find it a bit difficult to feel towards the characters. Although there are good descriptions; the deep emotions the characters have for one another. But I’m waiting for some sort of event to happen to excite the plot, helping it to move faster. But I do struggle to keep my attention on it.
As the story progresses, it reveals that people show love in different ways.
Unfortunately I do think this novel should have been shorter, as the plot is not really about something leading to one major event, but more about describing the character’s lives, and the secret their father hid.
Readers would find it interesting to read about the Japanese culture, and find it an easy read without having to get too involved. It does reveal the interesting relationships families have, and how they can be misunderstood. As long as you are not looking for big climaxes and twists in the plot, then this novel is an informative read.