Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.
Romeo and Juliet meets Madam Butterfly as two elegant narratives intertwine: a twenty-first century investigative reporter embarks on the most personal story of her life—locating the truth about a woman with whom her father had a forbidden relationship more than a half century ago. As her father’s secret past unfolds, the truth will reveal as much about him as about the woman and baby he left behind.
America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must face the demons of her father's past and the woman he left behind.
Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko's fallen for an American sailor, a gaijin—despite the shame it brings to her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.
In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another on a journey to discover the true meaning of family.
“A well-researched piece of historical fiction, loosely inspired by the military experience of the author's father, that shines a light on a dark chapter of Japanese history that will be unfamiliar to many readers.”
—THE TORONTO STAR
“THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE KIMONO is an elegant testament to the tenacity of hope, even when the bindings of cultural and familial expectations are drawn so tight. I look forward to reading more from this talented author.”
—Kelli Estes, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
“Ana Johns’ THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE KIMONO is a powerful and heartbreaking literary debut; a lush and masterful exploration of the indomitably of the human spirit set against the backdrop of post-World War II Japan. Johns’ exquisite and emotionally satisfying tale spans a cultural divide to marry a mother’s courageous determination to protect her daughter at any cost with a daughter’s quest for truth. I loved this book!”
—Karen Dionne, internationally bestselling author of THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER
“Cinematic, deeply moving, and beautifully written. I so enjoyed this.”
—Carol Mason, #1 bestselling author of AFTER YOU LEFT
“I finished THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE KIMONO last night in floods of tears and I am still marveling at the beautiful story and will do so I think for a long time. This is a story that will stay with me - a book that is meant to be savoured and re-read and treasured ... So poignant and emotional. Each character jumping off the page and claiming a place in your heart! I loved everything about this book.”
—Renita D'Silva, international author of THE FORGOTTEN DAUGHTER