A reader could confuse these stories for a novel because they revolve around one family. Told in a variety of narrative styles and criss-crossing generations of a (mostly) Japanese family, this book has an architectural quality in which each room is connected to every other room and in which WWII is the central room and somewhere in the great room––or perhaps the whole great room––is a Borges labyrinth. Complex dynamics of family, nation and both family and national histories play out in fascinating ways. While at one point we learn that “in peacetime all lines are clearer,” almost none of this novel takes place outside of the shadow of the War. Through all of these stories is a richness of language and detail that will please and surprise readers.
–Matt, Annie Bloom’s Books, Portland, OR