aristocracy (social classes), brothers and sisters, family secrets, illegitimate children, Japanese Americans, Kyoto (Japan), musical prodigy, racially mixed cildren
After she is abandoned by her mother, Noriko is taken in by her strict Japanese grandparents only to suffer stinging, chemical baths and regular confinement to the attic. Life takes a new twist when her older half-brother (unbeknownst to her) comes to live with them. The author’s new voice and storytelling won me over completely.
“Fifty Words for Rain is an impressive debut novel about a mixed-race girl growing up in post WWII Japan. Sensitive and bristling with closely-observed humanity, Asha Lemmie tells a story that we have not heard before with an ending that is as surprising as it is brutally honest.” —Mark Sullivan, bestselling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky
“[An] epic, twisty debut… Sometimes bleak, sometimes hopeful, Lemmie’s heartbreaking story of familial obligations packs an emotional wallop.” —Publishers Weekly
“Lemmie’s debut novel is a gripping historical tale that will transport readers through myriad emotions… Lemmie intimately draws the readers into every aspect of Noriko’s complex story, leading us through the decades and across the continents this adventure spans, bringing us to anger, tears, and small pockets of joy. A truly ambitious and remarkable debut.” —Booklist