by Rea Keech
Narrated by Rea Keech
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Pub Date 01 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 08 Feb 2024
Real Nice Books, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Audiobooks
It’s 1969, and Emiko’s father has gone to Tokyo to support student protests against the Vietnam War—but hasn’t come back. Then suddenly her mother dies. In despair, twenty-year-old Emiko abandons her factory job to go searching for her missing father.
To survive in Tokyo, she stays at a hostel in the seedy Sanya neighborhood and takes a job as hostess in a bar where she’s required to “talk cute,” which goes against her grain. She’s previously refused the offer to become the second wife of the rich Genji, twice her age, who had been in love with her mother, but when she’s fired and out of money, in desperation she goes to Genji’s office, hoping for a loan. Genji gives her money but has something else in mind.
Eventually Emiko lands a job as translator for a man who turns out to be a dangerous far-right activist—just the opposite of what her missing father stood for. And then she meets Juan, an American soldier recovering from a battle injury. Now she’s in love with a soldier in the war she and her father have been denouncing for years.
"Keech’s book presents a post–World War II Tokyo that is no longer in lockstep with America, with New Left, anti-war movements like the Beheiren offering readers a view of Japan in the 1970s many may not have considered. Emiko is a strong, independent, and clever protagonist, using her wits to try to find her father and outsmart the radicals and criminals on the edges of this new, harsher world outside Kitayama. . . . And though wartime romances are obviously not rare, the historical and political impacts of Vietnam on Japan as depicted here make for unique challenges for a charming pair of lovers.
A vivid and unusual era and setting help this wartime love story stand out."
“Keech writes confidently and evocatively, conjuring an authentic setting both rich with detail and a sense of atmosphere. This coming-of-age story set against 1969 Tokyo, which touches both upon Japan post-World War II, and the Vietnam War, proves fertile ground for emotional drama with hints of intrigue and romance.”
|9 Hours, 57 Minutes, 38 Seconds