This review may seem a little backwards because I believe that there is so much more to this story than what is on the surface. I just finished this one, and I’ve been thinking about what it is that made me love it so much. I believe that one message in this book is not to take people at face value, but more so, that we should not judge people’s reactions to situations as weaknesses in their character. One character in this novel especially showed that being devoted to someone means not reacting to a situation in the way that people expect you to. Loyalty to someone that you love may indeed mean not doing what is the best thing for you as an individual at that time. To love someone more than yourself may not be something that others understand, but it was something shown beautifully through these characters. They really touched my emotions.
There is a lot packed into this short novel. Stephen is a young Chinese man who is sent to his family’s summer home in Japan to recover from illness. World War II is beginning, and Stephen experiences this as he lives in the land of the enemy. However, he meets several amazing Japanese people who he becomes connected to in ways that he never expected.
I have read several stories that show how people with leprosy were treated by their societies and their families. This gives another perspective on this experience. People who enjoyed reading Moloka'i by Alan Brennert would also like this book in my opinion. I loved it, 5/5.