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The Translation of Love von Lynne Kutsukake
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The Translation of Love (2017. Auflage)

von Lynne Kutsukake (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
15716135,694 (3.77)8
An emotionally gripping portrait of post-war Japan, where a newly repatriated girl must help a classmate find her missing sister.
Titel:The Translation of Love
Autoren:Lynne Kutsukake (Autor)
Info:Anchor (2017), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek


The Translation of Love: A Novel von Lynne Kutsukake

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So far, my favourite book I've read this year!

This book is told from five perspectives, all beautifully intertwined with each other in a satisfying way. This is a story I hadn't heard before, the story of post-WWII Japan. The US occupation is bringing democracy and a whole generation of heartbroken women with babies that don't look quite Japanese. Fumi's sister is missing and she wants Aya, a repat to help find her. Sumiko is dancing with GI Joes, and refuses to go farther than that. Matt is an American Japanese soldier who doesn't fit in as either American or Japanese. Kondo is a school teacher, writing letters of love to American soldiers from their Japanese girlfriends and translating their break up letters.

I really loved this one! ( )
  Wordbrarian | Mar 5, 2019 |
Enjoyable writing.

A heart-wrenching period in history, the aftermath of the WWII on the loser side. The lives and thoughts of the characters interwoven in Tokyo of 1948, all connected through the letters written to General McArthur who brought democracy to the Empire of the Rising Sun.

One of the most interesting details was perhaps how the Nisei Japanese felt (people who were born in America or Canada, who experienced the internment camps and found their way one way or the other back to Japan), and another the situation that many women found themselves in, being the providers for the family, but being shunned by the society, as they became bargirls and danced with US soldiers to get foodstuff.

I found it interesting, that Kutsukake decided to use speech-patterns for the Japanese characters that are more similar to actual Japanese than English: short, clipped sentences, which in Japanese sound fine, but in English might seem a little awkward. For me this however added to the immersion, and made these characters really more Japanese.

Several of the characters got to a breaking point, where there could have been no return. But I personally am glad, that Kutsukake decided to give hope for the characters, and ending the book in a gentle way, instead of going full-on depressing. ( )
  Moonika | Mar 4, 2019 |
This was a beautiful book about all the different ways Japan and Japanese citizens and non-citizens of Japanese origin were affected by the war and internment. The author captures beautifully the paths of a Japanese family struggling to survive, a forcibly repatriated Japanese-Canadian family, an American soldier of Japanese descent, and an American citizen of Japanese descent unable to return. It deals with familial love, friendship, love for ones country and is captivating until the end. ( )
  mmaestiho | Sep 20, 2018 |
This just wasn't very good. Aya is a 13 year old Japanese girl who has been deported from the United States after being in a concentration camp during World War II. She and her father must make their way in this now unfamiliar world, where Aya is bullied at her new school. However, one of the bullies, Fumi, takes an interest in Aya since the latter has stronger skills in English. Fumi's sister has gone missing and Fumi is desperate to find her.
So begins the historical novel by Lynne Kutsukake.The premise was intriguing, but it actually seems wrong from the get-go. The cover flap summaries were misleading: Aya is really a secondary character and we begin the story in Japan, rather than dealing with Aya and her father's deportation extensively. In itself there's nothing wrong with that but I really hate misleading book blurbs.
The book also has too many POVs (which could work if the author is skilled or the story really demands it) but here the threads are too loose to pull together well. I really didn't care about Matt or Fumi's sister. The book was highly skimmable while still managing to capture the essence of the story (not really a good sign). This has been compared to 'All the Light We Cannot See' but since I haven't read that I couldn't say.
It's a pity because I enjoy historical fiction novels and would have liked to see this fictional account of post-WWII Japan. We do see bits and pieces of it but unfortunately Kutsukake's writing wasn't enough to make it really interesting. It's too bad because there IS an interesting tale to be told if perhaps the author had cut out the other characters and left the focus on Aya and/or Fumi.
Oh well. Borrowed it from the library. Might keep an eye out for the author's future works, but won't be rushing out to read them. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
This is an excellent novel that follows a 12 year old girl in post-WW2 Occupied Japan who is searching for her older sister. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
Yet although the stakes are never quite high enough for the novel to gather significant momentum, many scenes pack an emotional punch and are enhanced by the author’s clarity and restraint. Like Benedict’s book, The Translation of Love offers rich insights into an underreported period in history, despite holding some of its subject matter at arm’s-length. Certainly, there is plenty to suggest that Kutsukake’s next novel can deliver on the promise of this one.
When Americans imagine Tokyo circa 1947, they picture Gen. Douglas MacArthur in khaki, G.I.s tossing chocolate from jeeps, an emperor reduced from archfiend to bureaucrat. In his 1999 masterpiece, “Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II,” the historian John W. Dower shifted the focus to the Japanese, liberated, exhausted and bewildered. Now Lynne Kutsukake, a third-generation ­Japanese-Canadian and first-time novelist, conjures the voices of this agonized time with graceful simplicity....The narrative perspective shifts constantly among these five, their actions and reactions sketched with minimal fuss. The story is satisfying but secondary to the mood: the quiet ache of loss...The plainness of Kutsukake’s prose can verge on threadbare, with patches of earnest research peeking through, but these lapses are balanced by moments of indelible poignancy.

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Lynne KutsukakeHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Wu, NancyErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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An emotionally gripping portrait of post-war Japan, where a newly repatriated girl must help a classmate find her missing sister.

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