The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu's generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu's soulmate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.
Set in Japan just before WWII, Tsukiyama's novel tells of a young Chinese man's encounters with four locals while he recuperates from tuberculosis.
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A Beautiful, Sad Love Story
One of my all-time favorite novels. Tsukiyama writes simply, but with poignancy and elegance. The story is a love story told nearly perfectly.
Had to read it for High school and I’m not an type that likes to read a lot but oh did I enjoy this book !
Beautifully written story, I'm happy I got to read it.