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All California-born Rei Shimura really wants is to lead her quiet life in Tokyo as an antiques dealer while learning more about her Japanese relatives, but Massey, of course, has other plans for her in this absorbing cross-cultural puzzle, the sixth in the series (after 2001's The Bride's Kimono). On her way home from Washington, D.C., Rei stops in San Francisco to spend Christmas with her parents and do some research on Japanese decorative objects, including some belonging to her family. Her Scottish boyfriend, lawyer Hugh Glendinning, is involved in a reparation case for victims who were used as slave labor by corporations during WWII. Holiday festivities take on an edge when the woman Hugh is in town to question is murdered, Rei uncovers some potentially disturbing information about her own family's role in the war and a young Japanese medical student boarding with the family disappears. All trails seem to lead to Tokyo, where Rei returns to her beloved apartment and her relatives hoping for resolution. She and Hugh, however, soon find themselves embroiled in some very nasty business leading to her deportation back to San Francisco. Massey poses some deeply resonating questions about guilt and responsibility, while Rei faces some universal truths about families, loyalty and dealing with the past no matter how unpleasant it may be. Hugh's Christmas proposal guarantees intriguing complications ahead. FYI: Massey has won Agatha and Macavity awards.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
After briefly veering off course with The Bride's Kimono (2001), Massey is squarely back on track with this sixth, and possibly best, entry in her series starring young Japanese American Rei Shimura. This time the action takes place both in San Francisco, where Rei's parents reside, and in Rei's home city of Tokyo. Deciding to take a brief sabbatical from her antiques business, Rei is researching Shimura family history, in particular, how the family lived before dramatic modernization in the 1960s. Rei's boyfriend, Scottish attorney Hugh Glendinning, is researching a lawsuit that also involves Japanese history: restitution for Asian women forced into prostitution by large Japanese companies during World War II. The couple's blissful time together is soon shattered when one of Hugh's clients is killed and another seriously wounded. To make matters worse, both Rei and Hugh's projects initiate several confrontations with Rei's Japanese father. Massey deftly weaves fascinating historical and cultural detail into a suspenseful plot. A cliffhanger ending leaves the door open for the series to chart more new territory. Jenny McLarin
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I started reading this book only because my husband had it. I am a Japanese woman living in the US, and I found the author, Sujata Massey adequately depicting modern Japanese... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2004
I feel the same way about this series that many reviewers seem to: a lot of what makes these books interesting is their glimpses into modern-day life in Japan. Read morePublished on July 1 2003 by Amber
As much as I love the Rei Shimura books, this one was a letdown...Rei takes on the issue of WWII slave labor and reparations to the victims, which is interesting because it's not... Read morePublished on April 2 2003
I love Massey's stories which usually take place in an idealized Japan. I was not as enchanted with the portions of this book that took place in America. Read morePublished on March 22 2003
The joy I get out of reading this author's series of mysteries is mainly from the exotic nature of the Japanese culture and the California-native Rei's interactions within it. Read morePublished on March 9 2003 by Amazon Customer