Blossoms and Shadows Paperback
by Lian Hearn
Japan, 1857. For centuries Japan has been on its own; isolated by choice from the rest of the world.
But the Western powers are now at its shores demanding to be let in, the government is crumbling and revolution is building.
The age of the samurai is ending and in its place a new Japan will be born.
A young woman is readying herself for marriage in this, the most tumultuous period of her nation's history.
The daughter of a doctor, Tsuru has been working alongside him and learning the ways of medicine all her life.
When her father allows her to marry the man she loves - a fellow doctor - she believes her life will be all she's dreamed it could be.
Happily married, working amongst men as an equal. But Japanese society does not work this way. The men of the times - boys she's known since childhood - are determined to expel the foreigners, using violence and whatever else they need to make their message heard.
The women are expected to be hidden at home, or behind the paper walls of the tea houses.
Tsuru is far too able to accept this and she is drawn into a shadowy world of subversion, political intrigue and a dangerous love. In time, she is working on the battlefields, alongside men, to care for the wounded.
Blossoms and Shadows is a compelling tale of love and war, women and men, and the rise of modern Japan.
It shines a brilliant light on a time in history that few have known about until now, though the change it brought continues to ripple around the world.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: Quercus Publishing
- Publication Date: 29/03/2012
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780857382986
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Review by revslick
Please note, if you've read The Tales of the Otori by Hearn think of this book as a totally different and nothing like the former except it is located in Japan. With that out of the way.... This is a decent starter for historical fiction. Hearn's dilemma is she packs in so much information and names that unless you've had at least some basic Japanese history you'll find the story become tedious, which it did. However, she has a flair for words, story, and great character development so I'll be checking in with her next book to see her progress.postscript: if you haven't read The Tales of the Otori - excellent series!!