by Andrew Lam
Publication Date: May 1, 2019
Tiny Fox Press
Paperback & eBook; 308 Pages
France, October 1944. A Japanese American war hero has a secret.
A secret so awful he’d rather die than tell anyone–one so entwined with the brave act that made him a hero that he’s determined never to speak of the war. Ever.
Decades later his son, Daniel Tokunaga, a world-famous cardiac surgeon, is perplexed when the U.S. government comes calling, wanting to know about his father’s service with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII. Something terrible happened while his father was fighting the Germans in France, and the Department of Defense won’t stop its investigation until it’s determined exactly who did what.
Wanting answers of his own, Daniel upends his life to find out what his father did on a small, obscure hilltop half a world away. As his quest for the truth unravels his family’s catastrophic past, the only thing for certain is that nothing–his life, career, and family–can ever be the same again.
Kudos to Andrew Lam and his new historical fiction, Repentance. With a well-crafted written style, I definitely enjoyed this story. It follows a double timeline which shows the reader the present time from Daniel’s point of view and the past through his father’s pov.
Both the men are so different and the shadow of their past has marked a distance impossible to overcome, but there is something from Daniel’s father past that might affect the present and the future as well, and change this unstable balance.
I love how the author explores the characters’ personalities and their relationships and I was likewise interested in the American Japanese situation, which it was quite to me and that was well described along throughout the book.
I’m used to reading historical fiction books, but the author’s style has positively surprised me, and for this, I’m grateful to the publisher and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my copy in exchange for my honest review.
About the author
Andrew Lam, M.D., is the award-winning author of Repentance, Two Sons of China, and Saving Sight. His writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Born in Philadelphia and raised in central Illinois, he graduated summa cum laude in history from Yale University, where he studied military history and U.S.-East Asian relations.
His newest book is Repentance, a historical novel and riveting family drama entwined with the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a group of Japanese American soldiers who fought valiantly in Europe during WWII while many of their families were incarcerated in camps like Manzanar at home. The 442nd became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.
“Suspenseful, touching, and beautifully written.” -Margaret George, New York Times best-selling author of Elizabeth I and Helen of Troy
“A gorgeous, emotional book. A story of honor and sacrifice. An important, and timely, American story.” -Karin Tanabe, author of The Diplomat’s Daughter and The Gilded Years
“An intimate, revealing story of family secrets, love and honor during a turbulent time in Japanese American history.” -Gail Tsukiyama, award-winning author of The Samurai’s Garden and The Street of a Thousand Blossoms
“Gripping, engrossing, and poignant. Repentance reveals the nature of combat and its affect on men long after the guns fall silent.” -Susumu Ito, 442nd RCT veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star and Congressional Gold Medal.