The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Gail Tsukiyama’s The Samurai’s Garden tells the tale of a young Chinese man, Stephen, who travels to a sea-side town in Japan to recover from tuberculosis during the Second Sino-Japanese war in the late 1930s. He stays with Matsu, who has worked for Stephen’s family all his life, and learns to live in the quiet town of Tarumi while he regains his strength. Stephen also meets Matsu’s friend Sachi, also an outcast, and slowly gains her trust. This book tells a touching story about friendship in a time of war and Tsukiyama’s simple, yet elegant language really draws the reader into Stephen’s story. I really appreciated learning about the war and how Tsukiyama incorporated Stephen’s identity as a Chinese man who is immersed in Japanese culture and makes friends at Tarumi during this time period. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a satisfying read.