Echoes from a Falling Bridge (英語) ペーパーバック – 2018/2/13
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In 1939, Nobuko Ito, a young Japanese-American woman, travels from her home in California to Japan, where she is to learn the culture of her ancestors. Tensions grow between the two countries. Soon her country and the country she has grown to love are at war. The next four years are brutal, both for those who go to fight (Hirotaka Katsuragawa, a young art student, Masato Abi, the son of local merchants, Toshio Hara, a farmer turned soldier), and those who remain behind (Nobuko, Yoko Yoshida, who manages the local pottery factory while her husband is fighting the war, and the women and children of Nishimi). In 1997, these characters are in their twilight years. Nobuko is a widow. Yoko is reduced to dusting and serving tea in the factory she once ran. Toshio has gone mad. Hirotaka has become the sensei, honored teacher. While the pottery factory is the heart of the village, Hirotaka is its soul. When a murder is committed, the motive is found buried beneath the rubble of a bridge destroyed in New Guinea, fifty-five years earlier. The noise of its fall still echoes...
Toni came home to Oregon from a summer as an exchange student in Denmark knowing two things: she loved history, and she loved traveling and meeting new people. Her parents collected early-American antiques. By their measure, anything over 75 years of age qualified. The house of Toni's host family in Denmark was 400-years-old, and the church where her host-father preached was 800-years-old. She saw where battles had been fought and where Danes had lived ten centuries before she was born. It was a revelation. Her writing career began with that trip, keeping the editor of her hometown paper apprised of all she saw. A former NYT editor, he convinced her that she should continue writing. Although a west-coaster by birth, marriage, and preference, Toni has lived in many places, including nearly four years in Japan. That rich experience led her to write Echoes from a Falling Bridge, Harvest the Wind and Lotus Blossom Unfurling. (http: //authortonimorgan.com)
A novel by Toni Morgan
It’s said that one must read a Russian novel three times: Once, to get the characters straight; second, to get the plot straight; and finally, for enjoyment. The same can be said of Toni Morgan’s novel about rural life in Japan. As the essence of fine French wine depends upon cru and terroir, the essence of Morgan’s writing depends upon her intimate familiarity with Japan and the Japanese, the Nihon-jin; she makes it clear that they’re private people hiding behind inscrutable smiles, but with deep feelings like all other people. The next thing a reader learns is that Morgan’s a master wordsmith of elegant description and narration. Nothing escapes her: sights, sounds, smells, and moods and feelings evoked by the settings of her story. It’s a fine read and one that shouldn’t be missed.
Nobuko Ito, a young Japanese-American woman, travels from her home in California to Japan, where she is to learn the culture of her ancestors. Morgan employs secrets and family drama to drive the plot, all the while examining themes of rich and poor, individualism and tradition, future and past, boredom and ambition. The real joy of this book is getting lost in the characters, some of whom will remain with you long after you have finished the novel.
I would recommend Echoes From A Falling Bridge for anyone looking for rich character development and historical fiction. Or to anyone wants to get lost in an exotic epic.