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Publisher's Summary

The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Gail 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.
©1994 Gail Tsukiyama (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"An extraordinarily graceful and moving novel about goodness and beauty...Tsukiyama is a wise and spellbinding storyteller." ( Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kim J Hood on 08-24-17

Extremely Pleasant

I purchased this book solely on the basis of the reviews for it. And they were right! This is a lovely, melodic, touching enjoyable book. One of my favorites.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By whistler on 07-09-17

Historical and spiritual fiction, pulls you in...

Leaves the reader with much to think about. Well developed characters, engaging storyline, human character studies in a very readable work of fiction.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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