Cover Image: Repentance

Repentance

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Member Reviews

Captivating, suspenseful, entertaining novel! This beautiful thriller kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading it! Would highly recommend to those who enjoy this genre.
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I enjoyed the book, although as a British reader I was, perhaps, less invested in the story of the US regiment, and the treatment of Japanese-Americans during the war, than other readers might be; however I found the central two stories interesting and engaging. I liked the way that Ray's story unfolded gradually through the book, so we did not see or understand the whole truth until the very end of the book. Ray's character was, perhaps, a little "extreme", but I can imagine that the effects of his exploits would have been quite severe, so I wasn't put off by this.

On the other hand, Daniel's back story was slightly less engaging, with a particular thread seemingly serving very little purpose; I felt the description of his relationship with his wife, Beth, was a little bit flat, and less believable than the "Ray side of the story"

Having said this, I did feel that all the characters were believable and - for the most part- I was interested in their stories. Andrew Lam is a consultant surgeon, and so his descriptions of Daniel's life as a surgeon were true-to-life: the sense of holding another person's life in your hands, the importance of your patient over everything else,the effect this has on family life - these passages were well written and credible.

I'm giving this 3.5 stars on my blog, but 4 stars on Net Galley - I would prefer to round it up, rather than round it down.
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This is the first book of this author I have read, but it will certainly not be the last.  
 I love his writing style. I loved the character development. But most of all I loved how this book was unbelievably fantastic and I stayed up almost all night to finish it because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep otherwise.!! 
Shocking, but realistic, REPENTANCE will grab you from the beginning and shake you to your core!!!
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Historical facts (442nd Regimental Combat Team) plus fiction makes for a really poignant  story. I really enjoyed reading this novel. It was engaging and held my interest from start to finish. Oh, the secrets! Although short, the historical notes at the end provided just enough light on the brave men who served with the 442nd. Thank you NetGalley for forwarding this novel to me to read in exchange for an honest review.
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Thankyou to NetGalley,  Tiny Fox Press and the author,  Andrew Lam, for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of Repentance in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion. 
 On so many levels,  this book is truly a "must read". 
The storyline was well thought out and written.  It was beautiful,  remarkable and highly emotive.  
Is definitely a story that will stay with the reader long after the final page has been turned.  
Highly recommended
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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This book was really interesting and intense.  It tells the story of Daniel, head of cardio-thoracic surgery at Penn, who has a very successful career, is married to his beautiful wife Beth and has two amazing smart kids headed off to college.  His life seems perfect but it is far from it.  His parents live in California and he is not close to them, especially his gruff, non-emotional father Ray.  He has never been close to either of them sine he left for college and especially sine his younger brother was killed in the Vietnam war.  His mom is in a car accident and he flies out to check on her.  She is ok  and his dad is his usual self, not friendly or nice.  The chapters rotate between the present where Daniel is trying to help his parents sort out their current situation and back in WW2 where Daniel's father is stationed in France with his platoon and the Nazi combat he encountered then.  Daniel and his father have an argument in the current day and his father has what seems to be a heart attack and is rushed to the hospital.  Daniel learns, while cleaning out his parents house that his father won a medal of honor in the war and Daniel wants to learn more.  Daniel learn SO much more, way more then he bargained for and his tormented relationship with his father starts to suddenly make sense.  He learns the truth about his father, his real father, who they were and the heroes that they were during the war.  This is a beautifully written historical fiction novel.  I loved the story, the characters and the real story that this book as based on.  I actually used to work at the Hospital of the Univ of PA so that made it all the better for me.  Very intense story but well worth your time!!  DO not miss this amazing book!! Thanks to NG fo the ARC!!!
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Dr Lam, as he is, has written a novel taking place today, and also in the past when the United States committed a crime against it's own citizens during World War II.  He uses the characters of Daniel Tokunaga and his father Ray to bring the events to life.  Daniel is a world renowned heart surgeon who has been estranged from his father for many years.  What the problem was that fomented the distance between them is really the crux of the matter.
     Daniel and Ray are Japanese Americans and Ray and his family were among the thousands that were rounded up due to an edict from president Franklin Roosevelt and sent to internment camps for the duration of the war.  Most of these people were completely Americanized and could not understand the harsh treatment at the hands of the government even with their former country - Japan - at war with the U.S.  To prove to the U.S. government that they were not traitors many of the young men enlisted in the army and eventually melded into the 442nd regimental combat team and used only in Europe against the German army.  As an aside, and an important one, Dr Lam indicates that the 442nd became the most decorated unit in the history of U.S. warfare in history.
     Ray enlisted and served at the front.  Returning home he became withdrawn and almost a tyrant to his sons Daniel and his brother.  
     The book tells the story of Ray passing away and Daniel unearthing the real story about his father and the facts of the incident that made the man a hero winning the second highest military honor that can be bestowed on anyone.  It is a poignant story beautifully touching on real human emotions and the relationship between father and son. The ending is certainly real enough in scope to leave a lasting impression on the readers.  It obviously brings to life the crime against Japanese Americans when both German and Italian Americans were not thought of as anything but citizens of their adopted country.
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Repentance was a great book that looks at the complex relationship between a father and his son.  The book follows Ray Tokunaga and Daniel Tokunaga, father and son, through the battles of WWII (Ray) and the present day decisions that have led to their estrangement.
    Ray is brought home after being away for ten years when his mother has a car accident.  He is confronted with his proud father who has been nothing but cold and judgmental his entire life.  Always pushing him to be better, try harder, nothing was ever good enough.  Not even when he became a world renowned heart surgeon.  Daniel resents his father cool, detached demeanor and they butt heads constantly.
  Then, while Daniel is still visiting his folks, tragedy strikes.  As a result he is lead on a journey to discover who is father really was, and gains a deep understanding of love for the sacrifices his father made in order to give Daniel the best life. 
  I’m giving the book 4 stars because, while I felt it was well written and well researched, I would have loved a little more history in the book.  I don’t think that it fully established Hiro and Rays relationship during the war that you really felt what was happening in the battles.  Just didn’t have the connection to them that I would’ve liked that would pull me into the war with them.
  Other then that, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction.
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Thank you to Tiny Fox Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This books shines a light on shameful events in US history that are not particularly well-known, and should be: the sequestering of Japanese-Americans in internment camps in the United States in the course of WWII.

The story is well-written and goes from 1944 to 1999, uncovering the story aand history of one family against the backdrop of the service of Japanese-American soldiers in France during WWII, as a son tries to discover what exactly happened to his recently deceased father during the war. The only weak link was the plot strand involving the foundering relationship between the son and his wife - rather formulaic and two-dimensional.
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5 stars

This is a remarkable novel. 

I knew about the Japanese internment camps from growing up in Washington where there was an internment camp not far from my home. (This camp is not mentioned in the afterword in the book. I don't know if this is an oversight or if the author simply didn't know about it.) 

My grandparents were German immigrants who farmed in Newell, South Dakota. While they were not interned, their crops were confiscated and the military kept a very close eye on them. (Newell no longer exists by the way.) So I know a little about the fear and hate that the Japanese, German and Italian immigrants suffered.. 

There were Japanese farmers in the area and I picked strawberries on their farms several times. (Backbreaking work!) As a twelve-year old I had no idea that the farmers I worked for had experienced the horrors of discrimination and internment – at home! As I grew older I learned what had happened and felt ashamed and horrified that this had occurred.

This book brilliantly tells the story of Daniel Tokunaga who has a particularly difficult relationship with his father. Ray Tokunaga is remote and very hard on Daniel. Ray constantly harps on Daniel about honor and hard work. Daniel excels in his studies and becomes a world famous cardiac surgeon. But he worries about his love/hate relationship with his father. 

His mother's illness draws him back to California where his parents live. While his mother's illness passes, his father has an attack and is hospitalized. The truth of Daniel's history comes out and he is astounded and devastated. He becomes confused. His wife Beth implores him to seek answers. And he does. 

He travels to France with Beth to a reunion of the 442nd regiment where his father was stationed. He meets several people who tell him the truth of his father’s involvement in a battle at a farmhouse with German soldiers. And Daniel is surprised to learn even more from a woman named Celeste. 

Daniel makes peace with Ray's memory and with himself.

This book is remarkably well written and is plotted in a linear and easy-to-read style. The pages fly by and the reader hardly notices time passing. It is written with compassion while at the same time it hits hard with the realism of war and the very hard choices that soldiers in battle need to make. I appreciated the emotional travails that Daniel suffered with each revelation about his father and his war experience. I felt for Ray and was with him and Hiro in the trenches and as they marched through the dense fog where a German bullet could strike at any second. I experience the battle at the French farmhouse along with Ray and the other soldiers. While Ray was not at all proud of his behavior in the war, I understood the internal battle he had suffered. It was very well described. I really liked this book and will read more of Andrew Lam's novels. 

I want to thank NetGalley and Tiny Fox Press for forwarding to me a copy of this revealing and instructive book for me to read, enjoy and review.
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Do you know the story of what your parents did during WWII? Daniel thought he knew, but his family history doesn't match up with the information he uncovers. Now the government has questions as well. Repentance is a compelling read. We will be buying a copy for our library.
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Very touching and well written story.Daniel and Ray relationship as father-son was described well. War field scenes are also well written. Only thing dragging this down was way Beth and Daniel's relationship was described.
Not a great read but overall it is written well.Will surely try another book by this author.
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