Author: Andrew Lam
Genre: Historical Fiction
"Suspenseful, touching, and beautifully written." --Margaret George, New York Times best-selling author of Elizabeth I
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.
This is quite an intense book. The emotions of the reader are taken for a roller coaster ride throughout. The story of Daniel and his journey through the emotions of his life is one that is worthy of a reader’s time. The author accurately portrays the difficulties, pain, suffering and horror of warfare in the Vosges Mountains in World War 2.
I’m so royally offended at the example of cowardice when Daniel's 'Dad' ran away and left Hiro to the Germans. That the character himself considered himself a coward and never lived that down, placated me. The character used his cowardice as fuel to fire up his later heroic actions gives the reader a sense of wonder at the bounds of the human spirit.
The journey of Daniel from his earliest days through his troubled marriage and then to the truth is very well told. The depth of human spirit is ably explored and those who have a troubled existence, in any form, can gain strength from reading Daniel's journey.
Andrew Lam does an impactful job bringing to light both the incredible actions of the 442nd in combat and how they were victims of racial injustice in the lack of appropriate battlefield awards at the time. Repentance also brings an excellent ray of light on the dark passage that was the internment of Americans of Japanese descent in World War 2.
I observed a number of times when love is somewhat denigrated either as an aside or from direct commentary. This reader must state that while some marriages are born out of no love and some marriages the love is so weak it disappears...if you find the person you love with all your heart and they love you the same then the love only grows every single day.
Repentance is a superb book and while not an easy read it is a book that I recommend to everyone.
My Rating: 5 stars
Buy it Now:
Indie Bound https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781946501127
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. He then attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by specialty training to become a retinal surgeon. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and resides in western Massachusetts with his wife and four children.
His first book, Saving Sight, was released by Irie Books in May 2013. It was awarded Honorable Mentions at the 2013 New England and London Book Festivals and was a Finalist for the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
His first novel, Two Sons of China, a novel of the Second World War, was published by Bondfire Books (2014). It won the Gold Medal for military fiction in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs), Foreword Reviews' 2014 Book of the Year Award (also for military fiction), and the Chinese American Librarians Association 2014 Best Book Award (fiction).
His newest book is Repentance, an 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 because the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.
Social Media Links:
Reviewed by: Mr. N