AFTER THE BLOOM by Leslie Shimotakahara
After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara is a story about a mother and daughter and the dark history the family struggles to overcome in the search for peace and absolution. Lily Takemitsu, who suffers from a memory and dissociative disorder, wanders away from her Toronto home one day in the mid 1980s. Rita, her daughter, not satisfied with the police’s investigation, starts her own investigation into her mother’s disappearance. Along the way, she uncovers many secrets about the father she never knew, the family’s unspoken history of being interned in a California desert camp during the Second World War, and readjusting to life in Toronto after immigrating.
This book was well-written and descriptive with well developed characters and plot. I especially liked the switching timelines between Lily’s past and her daughter, Rita’s present which kept the story moving along, although at times there were lulls in the story. The details of Japanese internment in America during WWII was certainly interesting to read about, especially since I knew so little about it. The author even added a “of related interest” section at the end of the novel. A great debut novel. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.The only issue I had was a formatting issue with the Kindle advance copy I received in that it was slightly off throughout most of the novel and quite distracting in places, but I’m sure that will be taken care of by the release date.
Thank you NetGalley and Dundurn Publishing for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.
Reviewed: January 10, 2017. Novel Publish Date: April 15, 2017.