Absolutely delighted to be kicking off the Blog Tour for the debut novel of S.J. Parks today! Been a treat to read it and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I’ve done!
A young girl traces her mother’s steps all the way from London to Japan to search for the father she never knew.
Hana arrives in Tokyo with only two words in her mind: The Teahouse. She’s a long way from home in East London and still fresh from the loss of her mother. But her grief has sent her across to the other side of the world to find out who she is, and for Hana that means finding the Japanese man she has never met, her father with only these two words as clues.
Made in Japan is a beautifully woven story of a mother and daughter who, decades apart, tread the same streets of glittering Tokyo looking for that something that might complete them.
Publisher; Harper Collins
The simple but stunning cover gives you a glimpse of what lies instore for you when you begin this reading journey. I found it to be such an immersive read – the pace is quite gentle as you follow Hana in her journey of trying to find herself whilst grieving for the loss of her mother.
She was never told about her father so she travels to Japan to try and fit the pieces together of things her mother told her, and focus on ‘the teahouse’ which was the only clue she had to her fathers’ identity.
Hana feels lost while she’s there but she finds herself involved in the locals lives from the place she stays at, to the friends she connects with.
Alongside Hana and her story set in 2012, we also get to go back to the late 1980’s to see life in Japan from the point of view of her mother and this is really where the story kicks in as the pieces fall into place. Names and places are soon integral to the quest she is on and I found this connection fascinating.
I did find the pace a little too slow around the middle where the story seemed to stall a little, but the extraordinary attention to detail both in the surroundings and traditions they both faced living in Japan really brought the story back to life. I also enjoyed the short, snappy chapters which were like little snapshots into daily Japanese life and human behaviour. Her journey also evokes different memories of her childhood and her mother and this was another intriguing aspect to her overcoming her grief and the different emotions that this brings out in her – sorrow, anger, and all the unanswered questions she has going through her head.
Overall this was an enjoyable and emotive read and a great study of human relationships set in such a fascinating country.