A BOOK REVIEW
C. NEUROTICUS ABSOLUTUS
Japan is a world of illusions, of facades and masks worn for the world to see, from views of happy, prosperous families seen from neighbors’ windows to television images of Japanese society a world away. The face presented to the world is an illusion, a well-crafted projection to entice others to perceive circumstances that may not reflect the unvarnished truth.
Kenji Sasaki is a mid-level manager in a large trading company with a wife and three children. Kenji’s devotion to the company allows little time for his family. The task of running the household falls to his wife Akiko, who sacrifices her own comforts for her husband and her aging parents, while guiding her children into the new world that Japan has become. Grandmother Sada epitomizes the wartime generation and remembers the sacrifices they made to bring Japan from the ashes of war to a world-class economic power. Nineteen-year-old daughter Nami, who is imbued with modern ideas and ideals foreign to her society, yearns to break free from the constricting girdles of traditions and customs. Akiko lives in the world in between, trying to honor centuries of tradition while preparing her children for the changing world.
As with all stories of author Wayne White - who lived in Japan for 9 1/2 years - drama, mystery and romance are sprinkled throughout the book, enough to keep the reader turning pages.