Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns (TLC Book Tour Review and GIVEAWAY!)

Forbidden love blossoms between a Japanese seventeen-year-old girl from a privileged family and an American sailor in 1957 Japan.  Naoko Nakamura’s marriage has been planned for her to the son of her father’s business associate, Satoshi. Naoko has other plans and has met and fallen in love with American sailor Hajime.  She tries to introduce Hajime to her family at tea, but they are horrified that she has brought home an American sailor. Marriage with the “occupiers” and the thought of a mixed-race grandchild is not something that Naoko’s family wants.  It is too late for their horror as Naoko is expecting Hajime’s child. Will Naoko be able to convince her family that she should marry her true love Hajime?

In the modern-day United States, Tori is with her father for his last days.  He mysteriously leaves her a letter that was returned to him from Japan where she learns that he had a woman he loved before her mother and he may have had a daughter.  Using her investigative journalism background, Tori travels to Japan to look for the woman her father loved. Will she find her, her sister, and what separated the two lovers in the 1950s?

I was fascinated by this novel.  The beautiful description of the outdoor wedding with the woman in the white kimono was lyrical and vivid.  It was the backdrop for the entire story as Tori struggles with her father’s story of the wedding and her realization that her father was married before meeting her mother, and with Naoko living it out in the past.  I always love learning something new with a novel.  I did not know much about post-WWII Japan and this gave me a vivid picture of what it was like to live in Japan during that time, and also gave me a picture of the bitter racism that was alive in both Japan and the United States for mixed race marriages between Americans and Japanese.  More horrifying was learning the fate of the children of such marriages or relationships. 

I enjoy stories with alternating narratives and liked how this one switched from the past to the present and tied the story together at the end. Both narratives are told from a first-person perspective.  I also really enjoyed the author’s note at the end which went over what was the real history of the novel and how it was put together.  The cover is beautiful.  Even my eight -year old daughter upon seeing it told me it looked “romantic” and she wanted to read it.

Favorite Quotes:
“What is truth but a story we tell ourselves.”

“There is only love.  Only truth.  And this is mine.”

Overall, The Woman in the White Kimono is an excellent historical fiction story with a compelling mystery.  I highly recommend it!

Book Source:  Review Copy for being a part of the TLC Book Tour.  Thank-you!  For more stops on this tour, check out this link.

Each stop on the TLC Book Tour will be giving away one copy of The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns. If you would like to win this book, please leave a comment on what interests you about this book.  Have you read any books or watched any movies about Japan after WWII? If so, what was your favorite?
As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

 For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a Monte Carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to addresses in the United States.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Monday June 24th!

Please make sure to check the week of June 24th to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.

Good luck!


  1. Laura, this book sounds truly wonderful. I enjoyed reading your review.

    Please enter me in this giveaway. I will add it to my blog's sidebar. I loved reading a WWII related novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a few years ago.


  2. This was one book I was dead keen to get from Netgalley. Geographical restrictions apparently prohibit it from being sent here. I was so disappointed as it sounds a wonderful read.
    I enjoyed your review.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Loved this one. Haven't read any post WWII books about Japan before this one but would love to hear about others to put on my TBR. I loved the star crossed lovers and historical information about Japan in the years following WWII.

  5. This compelling novel sounds profound and meaningful. Books which are set during this era interest me greatly. Journey Interrupted was captivating and special. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Thanks for this fascinating novel which I would enjoy. Historicals which are memorable are what I enjoy. I have seen World War 11 Japan movies set in B.C. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  7. "Lyrical and vivid" is a really great description of this book. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours