A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding

by Jackie Copleton

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Family Drama Historical fiction Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Debut Books of the Month Book Club Recommendations eBooks of the Month Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding

May 2016 Debut of the Month.

Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016.

A bittersweet, page-turning love story which jumps back and forth in time. It tells of a Japanese couple, Ameterasu and Kenzo, now living in America and the loss of their daughter and grandson after the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. We learn of Ameterasu’s great love before she married and then of their daughter’s great love. The identity of these men is at the centre of this tale. We start it as a very disfigured man arrives on widowed Ameterasu’s doorstep claiming to be her grandson. So the past is revealed to us in dramatic bursts and Ameterau tells us of the emotional conflict between her and her daughter: so sad. At the beginning of each chapter there is a Japanese word and an explanation of its meaning and usage, not always relevant but always interesting, hence the title. Highly recommended.

Sarah Broadhurst

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding Synopsis

'What and how much should I admit to myself, and to others? Should I begin with this acknowledgement: my daughter Yuko might be alive today if I had loved her in a different way?' When a badly scarred man knocks on the door of Amaterasu Takahashi's retirement home and says that he is her grandson, she doesn't believe him. But if you've become adept at lying, can you tell when someone is speaking the truth? Amaterasu knows her grandson and her daughter died the day the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki; she searched for them amongst the ruins of her devastated city and has spent years burying her memories of that brutal summer. So this man is either a miracle or a cruel trick. The stranger forces Amaterasu to revisit her past; the hurt and humiliation of her early life, the intoxication of a first romance, the fierceness of a mother's love. For years she has held on to the idea that she did what she had to do to protect her family...but now nothing seems so certain. We can't rewrite history, but can we create a new future?

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780099592471
Publication date: 5th May 2016
Author: Jackie Copleton
Publisher: Windmill Books an imprint of Cornerstone
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 304 pages
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:
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What To Read After A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding

Frenchman's Creek
At the Edge of the Orchard
The Redeemed
Atonement

Jackie Copleton Press Reviews

'Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Piano Teacher, in the best way.' InStyle

'Astonishingly accomplished debut ... the graceful style and clarity of her writing make this an addictive read.' -- MUST READS Daily Mail

'Full of delicate imagery drawing on Japanese nature and culture, this is a rich, romantic story, brimming with restrained emotion - with a twist that will take your breath away. Superb.' Sunday Mirror

'Like Snow Falling on Cedars and The Reader, here is one of those rare life opportunities to look again at ourselves, and forgive, achieved with striking style, an unflinching eye and through a clever narrative. Brava Jackie Copleton.' -- Mary-Rose Maccoll, author of IN FALLING SNOW

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780099592471
Publication date: 05/05/2016
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780091959067
Publication date: 16/07/2015
Format: Hardback

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About Jackie Copleton

Jackie Copleton lived in Nagasaki and Sapporo where she taught English before returning to England and becoming a journalist. This is her first novel.

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