Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
Love in Translation: A Novel Paperback – November 24, 2009
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
From Publishers Weekly
Tokunaga (Midori by Moonlight) proves her ability to describe Japanese culture in absorbing detail, though she's less adept at bringing her characters to life. After aspiring San Jose singer Celeste Duncan learns her aunt Michiko has died and left her possessions to her long-lost sister, Hiromi, Celeste dumps her dud boyfriend and relocates to Tokyo to find Hiromi and, hopefully, the identity of her own father. Her quest introduces her to a bustling Tokyo, and the staples of its pop culture are explored as Celeste bounces from experience to experience—commuting as contact sport, romance with a Japanese man, karaoke and her participation in a music competition show. While it's easy to see why Celeste would be taken with Tokyo, it's less clear why readers should be taken with Celeste, who comes across less a convincing lead than a tour guide. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Living in sleepy San Jose with her overly critical boyfriend and working a dull job at a technical document company, Celeste Duncan is stuck in a rut. With that said, it feels like fate when she receives a box of family heirlooms from an aunt who recently passed. As a result of her mother’s early death and an absent father, Celeste impulsively decides to travel to Japan to find a relative who may be able to help her piece together her father’s whereabouts. As Celeste maneuvers along the cultural divide, she manages to pick up a few Japanese words, develop an intense crush on her homestay brother, and enter an American Idol–like singing contest in hopes of broadcasting her search for her relative. The cultural misunderstandings and mispronunciations are good for a laugh even as Celeste takes the brunt of the jokes. Our heroine is goofy, awkward, and clumsy in comparison to her Japanese counterparts, yet always lovable and good-natured. Tokunaga’s knowledge of and appreciation for Japanese culture shines through in this charmingly entertaining read. --Annie McCormick
Top customer reviews
My fears were unfounded in the most pleasant of ways. I found myself wishing only the best for her through all aspects of her journey. I was amazed at how the author was able to make descriptions in a way that I felt was pleasing to everyone who knows nothing of Japan, to people who have lived there before (enough to give a sense of the location, but not so much as to contradict anything that may have changed since the book was written and give a sense of discord to those who have seen the changes.) The cultural explanations were a bit "yeah, yeah, I know that already" for me, but at the same time, they were refreshing to read, and I feel they painted a good picture for people who had yet to learn them.
Overall, just a fantastic book that exceeded my expectations.
In order to honor an aunt's final request, and hoping this might lead to revealing secrets of her own family history, Celeste goes to Japan with no knowledge of the culture or language. Through her eyes the reader will experience the cuisine, customs, pop culture, art and dynamics of this fascinating and sometimes baffling country. For those familiar with Japanese culture, everything will ring true, from the pronunciations of Japanese-English, to the complex attitudes towards foreigners. This story was clearly written by someone who has not only been there and experienced some of the cross-cultural intricacies firsthand, but who also has a deep love for Japan and all of its quirks and rich offerings.
The tone is emotionally restrained with humorous observations worked in, but beneath this is a moving story with much depth. Every so often, emotions caught me by surprise as Celeste revealed bit by bit glimpses of a lonely childhood and a lifelong search for belonging. Finally, fate seems to have handed her clues to the secrets of her past, her identity, and maybe even a path to claiming a real family of her own. Intertwined with this personal quest is a delightful romance and a seemingly far-fetched chance at stardom that had me turning the pages and rooting for Celeste to the very end.
I devoured every page, and walked away feeling as if a dear old friend had come to visit.
With nuanced characters and a vividly drawn setting, I finished this book feeling as though I'd had a well-guided tour through Japan and modern Japanese culture. I happily sank into this book, pleased with the journey and the conclusion.
However, Celeste receives an odd phone call and a box arrives filled with heirlooms; clues to the unknown father she never met. On a whim based on these new items being omens, she flies from San Jose to Japan in a ten hour airborne sardine can flight to meet her father. When she meets her English-speaking homestay "brother" Takuya she wants to kiss him senseless, but holds in check the desire. He helps her follow the clues especially with translating Japanese into English. As they travel across Japan, Celeste finds she is falling in love with her twenty-eight tears old guide, but his mom has his former girlfriend in mind for a daughter-in-law. As the trek increasingly looks futile, a despondent Celeste wonders if it is time to return the land of boredom.
This is a fun yet profound tale due to the lead female who uses self deprecating amusing metaphors to describe her despondency over her life back in the States and her seeming failures in Japan. The story line is character driven as the audience will enjoy Celeste's fumbling with the culture starting with her practiced words in Japanese that she thought meant thank you for welcoming her, but instead her teacher tricked her and she proposed. Fans will enjoy an American in Japan falling in love with her homestay brother, the culture and the people as she searches for her biological father.
Most recent customer reviews
father, her mother died when she was young, she moved from
foster home to foster home all her life; never...Read more