From the back of the book:
Spirits lurk in the bamboo forest outside the tiny northern Japanese town where Satomi lives with her elusive mother, Atsuko. A preternaturally gifted pianist, Satomi wrestles with inner demons. Her fall from grace is echoed in the life of her daughter, Rumi, who unleashes a ghost she must chase from foggy San Francisco to a Buddhist temple atop Japan’s icy Mount Doom. In sharp, lush prose, Picking Bones from Ash traces the reverberations of these women’s decisions regarding the competing demands of their artistic gifts, family, and society.
Picking Bones from Ash by Marie Mutsuki Mockett is a beautifully descriptive debut novel about three women and the cultural and generational barriers that divides them. Mockett’s characters come to life through her vision embodied in this graceful, yet illuminating work that examines postwar Japanese culture and how it impacted one family across a generation. Readers journey with Satomi, a young girl in postwar Japan whose gift for piano protects her and her mother from exclusion from the mountain village in which they live. From Japan, the journey leads to modern day San Francisco where Satomi’s daughter Rumi, with talents of her own, has lived much of her life under the assumption that her mother was dead. Mockett blends a story about difficult decisions with supernatural forces embodied in Rumi’s visions that make for an entertaining and suspenseful reading experience. Were it not for the supernatural forces invoked, I would have enjoyed the novel even more. For a debut, Mockett has crafted an impressive tale that will likely generate much buzz among discussion groups and I can highly recommend Picking Bones from Ash for readers and discussion groups alike looking for well-crafted historical fiction.
To learn more about author Marie Mutsuki Mockett, please visit her website: mariemockett.com
I received a complimentary copy of Picking Bones From Ash by Marie Mutsuki Mockett from Graywolf Press. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.