The Woman In The White Kimono by Ana Johns

Lost & Found

The Woman In The White Kimono by Ana Johns is a powerful and heartbreaking dual timeline novel that I just could not put down. Though it is a fictional story, it is based on fact.

The action is set in Japan in 1957 and also in present day America and Japan. The chapters alternate between the two periods. In present day a young woman searches for the truth about her father’s navy career that took him to the Far East. A deathbed revelation means that she travels to Japan to find out the truth.

Japan in 1957 was very different to modern Japan. Fresh in the minds of its’ people was World War II and the dropping of the atomic bombs. Marriages and alliances with Americans were actively discouraged. Every family wanted their daughters to make fine matches with good Japanese families. Daughters who chose American partners were cast out. Any babies that were of mixed race, and especially those born to single girls were unwanted at best, cruelly denied life at worst.

The reader follows a character to a dreadful, beyond words, maternity home that was actually based on real life.

There are compassionate bonds made within the maternity, and a promise to never forget any of the babies.

Only when the truth is known, can two families find peace.

This is a beautiful book about forbidden love. The characters are well drawn, realistic and elicit empathy from the reader. I can highly recommend The Woman In The White Kimono.


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