We’re delighted to be sharing Alice-Jane’s thoughts on KA-E-RO-U Time to go Home by B Jeanne Shibahara.
A whisk-you-away, thought-provoking novel. Desert-dweller Meryl travels to Japan, returns a WWII flag, and brings home an understanding of life that opens her heart for the unexpected.
“In Japan…everywhere…red strings tie all people we meet together. Some strings are weak. Some have tangles. Some strong.”
Meryl–Vietnam War widow–misses her grown son, feels left out after her father’s recent marriage. A WWII Japanese flag falls into her hands. The gentle push of a love-struck professor starts her adventure–take the flag home. From the neon of Osaka, to the ancient capital Nara, to the forests of Akita, the trail follows a newspaper reporter, factory manager, ikebana teacher, a Matagi hunter and winds through Japanese culture, past and present. A story of shared humanity and love “in the simplest things.”
B. Jeanne Shibahara’s skillful narrative voice and comic touch bring joy to this truly heart-moving, transpacific story. There’s something in it for everyone, everywhere.
KA-E-RO-U Time to go Home by B Jeanne Shibahara is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.
“KA-E-RO-U is a testimony to the human spirit that bridges differences and overcomes divisions, so different from the spirit that prevailed in the 1930s and 1940s and sent our grandparents and parents to war.”
Elaine Gerbert, University of Kansas, translator of Edogawa Ranpo’s Strange Tale of Panorama Island
B Jeanne Shibahara has written the story to include the personal growth of each individual involved with the return of a Japanese Second World War soldier’s flag to his bereaved family.
For the main character Meryl, her journey to Japan is not only a physical one, but also a spiritual one, that aids her ability to focus on the future and not the past of her deceased husband.
The Japanese culture so beautifully portrayed really enraptures the reader into the world of nature’s beauty and how when one embraces this, the soul and mind can heal.
The contrast between war and peace is addressed not just through the eyes of the soldier but mostly the female members of family left behind, where their battles of facing the loss can continue forever.
KA-R-RO-U Time to go Home is well written and helps one to focus on stopping and taking in the world around us, and really look at the heart of life.
I really enjoyed this thought provoking and soulful story.
B. Jeanne Shibahara studied fiction writing from Mark Harris (Bang the Drum Slowly) and copywriting from Beth Luey (Editorial Consultant, Chicago Manual of Style, 16thEd.) in the MA program for creative writing at Arizona State University.
In Japan, B. Jeanne has taught English at a private university, written articles for research groups, and created jazz lyrics for composer Hajime Kitamura.
Daughter of a US military officer, she married into a family of calligraphy, ikebana, and tea ceremony teachers, shamisen player, kimono fabric artist, business entrepreneur, and architect. Her home is in Nara City, the ancient capital of Japan.
Connect with B Jeanne Shibahara