Feature:

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding

‘What and how much should I admit to myself, and to others? Should I begin with this acknowledgement: my daughter Yuko might be alive today if I had loved her in a different way?’

When a badly scarred man knocks on the door of Amaterasu Takahashi’s retirement home and says that he is her grandson, she doesn’t believe him.

Amaterasu knows her grandson and her daughter died the day the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki; she searched for them amongst the ruins of her devastated city and has spent years burying her memories of that brutal summer. So this man is either a miracle or a cruel trick.

The stranger forces Amaterasu to revisit her past; the hurt and humiliation of her early life, the intoxication of a first romance, the fierceness of a mother’s love. For years she has held on to the idea that she did what she had to do to protect her family… but now nothing seems so certain.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of Nagasaki before and after the bomb, A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding is about regret, forgiveness and the exquisite pain of love, perfect for everyone who loved Memoirs of a Geisha and The Postmistress.

‘Full of delicate imagery drawing on Japanese nature and culture, this is a rich, romantic story, brimming with restrained emotion – with a twist that will take your breath away. Superb’ Sunday Mirror

Read an extract here

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