A retelling of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights in the radically different setting of post-World War II Japan, this star-crossed story of a woman and the two men who are rivals for her love is related by a housekeeper name Fumiko. Born into a poor farm family, Fumiko goes to work in the Udagawa household at the age of 17 in 1954. The family head is Takeo, a medical doctor working in research at a university. His wife Natsue is the second of three daughters, all known for their beauty, in the nouveau-riche Saegusa family. Takeo is immersed in his work, Natsue keeps busy at a boutique she runs with her sister, and eldest daughter Yuko occupies herself with piano practice. Fumiko spends most of her day looking after Grandma (Takeo’s father’s second wife) and second daughter Yoko, who is seven. Then Azuma, the nephew of Takeo’s father’s former rickshaw man, moves into the rental house next door with his family; as returnees from Manchuria, they are all but destitute. Among the Azuma children Taro, the youngest, stands out, and it soon comes to light that he is actually the son of the nephew’s sister, conceived when she was raped by a minority tribesman in Taiwan. Seeing the boy being abused by his stepparents and stepbrothers, Grandma and Fumiko intercede to protect him, which brings Taro and Yoko together and kindles a lifelong love between them. With class barriers preventing the two from getting married, however, Taro emigrates to the United States on the brink of age 20. After much hardship, a successful business venture makes him a billionaire, at which point he re-enters the life of the now-married Yoko . . . An enthralling love story, with countless twists and turns.
The English edition won the Grand Prize of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for the fiction genre and also won the American Translators Association's 2014 Lewis Galantière Award.
(Vol. 1) ISBN 978-4104077021, 469pages
(Vol. 2) ISBN 978-4104077038, 412pages