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A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding
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Archive: Other Books > A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copelton - 4 stars

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Ellen | 2331 comments August 9, 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan, Amaterasu Takahashi had just dropped her grandson Hideo at his elementary school and was on her way to meet her daughter Yuko, Hideo's mother, at a cathedral in the city. When the bomb dropped Amaterasu was running late for her appointment but she watched as the mushroom cloud enveloped much of Nagasaki's inner city. Immediately she ran for the school seeing horror upon horror visited on the people she passed by. There was no sign of Hideo and after visiting the destroyed cathedral, Ameterasu knows that her daughter and grandson are gone forever. Amaterasu and her husband Kenzo try to rebuild their lives but eventually they leave Japan and move to America.

Forty years later Amaterasu is now a widow living alone when a knock on her door brings her back to Nagasaki when she looks at the strange man on her doorstep. Deeply scarred from the bomb, the man claims to be Hideo who has come to meet his grandmother after all these years. Amaterasu is unconvinced but is forced to revisit the past when Hideo gives her a sealed envelope full of letters written by Dr. Sato, the man who adopted and raised Hideo, and the man who nearly destroyed 2 lives - Amaterasu's and Yuko's. Along with the letters, Amaterasu finally opens Yuko's diary which Amaterasu has kept unread for 40 years. Secrets, lies and heartache punctuate every word and Amaterasu is forced to face difficult truths and to try to answer the legitimacy of Hideo's claim.

What an interesting story this is told from a unique perspective. Amaterasu is a very strong woman who, although has not always made the best decisions, always made them out of love and honor. I enjoyed this one very much.


message 2: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) This doesn't sound like my kind of book... but you make it sound so interesting I'm adding it to my list nonetheless. :)

What I really want though is a domestic story with the same title. My husband and need that dictionary sometimes!


message 3: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8454 comments Ellen wrote: "August 9, 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan, Amaterasu Takahashi had just dropped her grandson Hideo at his elementary school and was on her way to meet her daughter Yuko, Hideo's mother, at a cathedral in t..."

This looks like a good read! Thanks for the review.


message 4: by Joy D (new) - added it

Joy D | 4656 comments Based on your review, I've added this to my TBR. Thanks!


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