The Woman in the White Kimono: A Novel

The Woman in the White Kimono: A Novel

by Ana Johns


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Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she is cast out in disgrace, forced to make unimaginable choices with far-reaching consequences.

America, present day. Tori Kovac finds a letter containing a shocking revelation about her father—one that calls into question everything she understood about her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778308140
Publisher: Park Row Books
Publication date: 05/28/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 105,894
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

ANA JOHNS worked over twenty years in the creative arts field, as both a creative director and business owner, before turning her hand to fiction. Born and raised in metro Detroit, she now resides in Indianapolis with her family. The Woman in the White Kimono is her first novel.

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The Woman in the White Kimono 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Mostly set in the 50’s in Japan it tells a story that is beautiful but also sad. I couldn’t stop reading but needed many tissues when I finished. I won’t forget this book.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Trustgirl 6 months ago
I applaud Ana Johns for the beautiful story. I am impressed that this being her first book was very well written and captured my attention all the way through. I love the old traditional ways of the Japanese no matter how beautiful or difficult. Thank you for the information after the story on what was real / not real. I loved every bit of the story and finished with crying my eyes out. I have shared this story with my daughter and friends as I highly recommend it. I will cherish this as one of my favorites. I look forward to many more to come.
whatsbetterthanbooks 10 months ago
Poignant, beautiful, and incredibly heartwrenching! The Woman in the White Kimono is predominantly set in Japan during the late 1950s, as well as present day, and is told from two different perspectives; Tori, a young journalist who journeys to Japan after her father's death to unravel the secrets of his past and to find the family he may have left behind, and Naoko, a young Japanese girl whose forbidden love for an American soldier will change her life forever. The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are multi-layered, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is a profoundly moving tale about life, love, familial relationships, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, desperation, courage, hope, and regret. Overall, The Woman in the White Kimono is the perfect blend of historical facts, evocative fiction, and palpable emotion. It's a bittersweet, tender, affecting tale that will not only make you smile, make you cry, but resonate with you long after the final page has been read.
Surrah19 11 months ago
I’ve been eager to write about The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns since finishing it an whole half an hour ago but, as I’m sitting here, I’m having a hard to putting into words how much the book made me feel. I knew within the first quarter of this book that it was hands down a five-star top-notch book that I needed to share. Naoko is a young Japanese woman at the age where marriage is arranged. But in post-war Japan, things have changed. Although Naoko has a suitor who is not at all what she thought he would be (in a good way), she’s already given her heart to a young American solider whose child she is carrying. Disgraced, she must find her way outside of her family’s home with or without her soldier. Flash forward to present day America, we meet Tori. She’s a journalist whose beloved father has passed away, but not without his secrets. As she reads a letter, Tori realizes her father’s stories may actually have been him trying to explain to her about his early life. In order to find closure, Tori finds herself traveling across the world for answers. If you loved books like Memoirs of a Geisha or Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, you absolutely MUST read The Woman in the White Kimono. It is one of the most heartfelt, gut-wrenching books I have read. I rarely cry, but I shed a tear several times reading this book. You will cheer, you will cry, you will be completely engulfed in the story and have no idea what is going on around you. I cannot recommend it enough! G Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin for providing me with a copy of this book . I have read and reviewed this book voluntarily and all opinions expressed are my own.
charleneC 11 months ago
Oh my gosh! what a wonderful book! I was captured by the first line of this heartfelt story. The story moves back and forth from 1950's to present day. The description of Japan is vivid. This story moved me so much. I learned so much that I did not know about children born to Japanese women that were half american. Such a sad situation for every to have been in. The heartbreak and loss. This book had me in tears many times. I could feel the heartache of the women in this story. A very bittersweet ending. I loved this book, I may even read it again!
Elena_L More than 1 year ago
I am always excited to read about Asian culture/history and I couldn't pass this one. THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE KIMONO is a beautifully written story that follows the lives of Naoko Nakamura and Tori Kovac. Told in the perspectives of these characters in two different timelines (1950's and present day), this book explores Japanese culture, love, interracial marriage, ostracism/discrimination, family pressure and post-WWII reality. This book brings us back to Japan, describing its post-war reality in a intense and realistic way. I was fully immersed in the story and lost myself while learning more about this period of Japanese history. The relationship between Americans and Japanese is well portrayed and so true that led me thinking of the horrible consequences of WWII. On the other hand, the author allows us to have a glimpse of Japan in modern days, describing accurately this country with its advanced technology and way of living. The emotional and elegant writing made me flew through the pages and I found myself utterly involved with the characters: I enjoyed the love story between Naoko and Hajime; besides, Naoko's story had me tearing up. Although I was less interested in Tori's viewpoint since it was told in a slower pace, her search for the truth behind her father's revelation kept me fully engaged. While I was rooting for a different ending, in the end I understood Johns' decision of choosing a more realistic closing. This is a poignant historical fiction and inspired by true stories that I recommend for readers interested in Japanese and American history. [ I received an ARC from Park Row Book in exchange for an honest review]
Reader4102 More than 1 year ago
This book is utterly unputdownable. It is an elegantly written book about a young Japanese woman, Naoko Nakamura, who falls in love with an American soldier in post-World War II Japan and the decisions she’s forced to make – and the consequences of that decision. At the same time, in alternating chapters, Johns tells the story of an American woman, Tori Kovac, whose father is dying. When she finds a letter addressed to someone in Japan who she doesn’t know and has never heard of, her curiosity is piqued. There is something about this book that makes you pause in your reading long enough to enjoy the wonderment at the fact that you’re reading a debut novel by an undoubtedly very talented author. The characters this first-time author has created are sheer genius – they are eminently so well-drawn the reader is saddened by the fact they aren’t real. This is a book that I’m sure will stay at the top of my favorite books for 2019. I rarely read a book twice - this one, however, will get a second, and maybe even a third, read just for the joy of read such a well-crafted book. If you only read one book this month, this year, make it this one. Thanks to Park Row Books and NetGalley for an eARC.