1942 – Japanese naval officer Matsuura Akira is on guard at sea when the ships of the famous Doolittle raid pass by. His ship sunk by the Americans, Akira is the only survivor. Akira’s father has impressed on him the deep shame of being captured, so Akira tries to take his own life – but fails. He knows he can never go home again. Then in 1949, he meets one of the Doolittle Raiders, and his life changes forever. But do any members of his family still survive – and will they accept him?
1587 – Omura Sono is pledged in marriage to Matsuura Hisanobu in her family’s effort to establish peace between the warring houses. But the Matsuura promise to allow Sono to keep her Christian faith and raise their children in that faith quickly unravels. When Sono’s first son is born prematurely, her mother-in-law insists the baby be “sent back,” and Sono struggles to save her son and her marriage – and to keep her faith.
In lovely prose, The Mulberry Leaf Whispers describes the beauty and the danger of feudal Japan as well as the difficulties for Japanese prisoners of war during World War II. Full of fascinating detail, the story highlights two family members, hundreds of years apart, who face difficult choices. Linda Thompson does an excellent job with this gorgeous, not-to-be missed novel.