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Butterfly's Shadow

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352 pages


In a Japan still rigid with tradition, an apprehensive fifteen-year-old tea-house girl prepares to welcome her first client. In his gleaming white uniform, Lieutenant Pinkerton walks up the hill to a house in Nagasaki to find the female he has purchased for a few weeks. When he sails away, she waits, aching for his return.
It is one of the world¿s great love stories. And, as the curtain falls on Madame Butterfly, Cho-Cho hands over her son to his American father, before killing herself. In a daring imaginative leap, Lee Langley takes this searing moment as a springboard, sending Puccini¿s characters spinning into a future undreamed of in the original.
In America with his father and new step-mother, Joey grows up torn between two cultures. And in different ways, they are all haunted by that fateful day, by a secret that, once revealed, will change everything.Struggling towards self-discovery they are caught in the shifting perspectives of the twentieth century ¿ the Depression, Pearl Harbor, the havoc of war. As a Japanese American, Joey finds himself penned behind barbed wire. Until he volunteers for the battle front in Europe.
And then time stops in Nagasaki. When the deadly dust of the A-bomb has settled, Joey finds his way back to the home of his memories, searching for traces of the mother who has for so long lived only in his dreams. What he discovers leads to a wrenchingly poignant resolution.
Butterfly¿s Shadow is an epic novel from a skilled storyteller at the height of her powers. It is a richly emotional story of thwarted love, lost hopes, lies and truth, set against some of the most dramatic events of recent history.



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