This novel is a rich, engrossing blend of love, deceit and two diverse countries and cultures. Although woven around two main characters, Cho-Cho and Joey, the impact of others on their lives and personality throughout the book is skilfully and beautifully captured. Cho-Cho is a young, Japanese teahouse girl purchased by her first client, American Lt Pinkerton. She falls in love with him; when he sails away she waits for his return. When he does come back their small son, Joey, is taken to the USA and raised as an American. The Depression takes it toll on the Pinkerton household, as does the internment of American-Japanese following Pearl Harbour. Joey refuses to accept his Japanese descent and determines to isolate himself from other internees.
Following his war service, and ability to speak Japanese, Joey returns to Japan as one of the occupying forces. It is here where he comes to wonder at what to make of this land of his birth as he stands among the ruins, smell of burning and gutted factories. He sets out to find his roots. As the book closes, the simple title becomes clear; here there is almost sadness as you turn the final page. This was a truly evocative and imaginatively written novel.