From the author of the touching debut People Who Knew Me, this thoughtful and surprising story provides insight to the human soul as a man tests whether he can truly abandon his will to survive. Determined to end his life with the dignity of the Japanese samurai, Jonathan sets about his life’s penultimate task to the deed—taking an emotionally driven trip to Japan guided by the memories of lost love. In preparation for this final voyage, he enrolls in a Japanese language class where he reluctantly makes friends with Riko, a girl who is also struggling to make peace with her own past. Together they travel to Japan where each learns that happiness, loneliness, and grief, just like the cherry blossoms, will come and go, and will continue to do so forever—and that may be the only certainty there is.
From the Author
I was a writer before I knew what a “writer” was. I would say I was born one, but that sounds way too esoteric and eyeroll-inducing. All I know is that when I was a kid, I’d ask for baby name books for my birthday because I was obsessed with finding the most appropriate names for my characters. I drew pictures of the houses they lived in and the schools they attended. I thought about the clothes they wore, the way they smiled, the friends they had, the hopes they harbored. Not much has changed since the days I wrote Dick-and-Jane type tales on that paper with the absurdly wide lines. Writing was, and still is, an opportunity to create a world, to give life to the “what ifs” that keep me up at night.
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