ISBN-13: 9780312372668
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published: November 2009
272 pgs
Source: Personal Library

Honestly speaking, I could not remember when was the last time I had read a women's fiction and felt so madly in love with it. Yes, that was how I felt when reading Love in Translation by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, a new-to-me author but has now joined the rank of my favourite authors.

33-year-old Celeste Duncan feels her life is a blah. Her mother passed away when she was younger, and she did not know who her father was. She does not feel motivated about her editor career, and she feels her relationship with her boyfriend is bland and lacks all the sparks.

So one day when she receives a phone call and a box that fills with mysterious family heirlooms, she is excited and intrigued at the same time. She thinks she might be able to find an answer to the identity of her father after all, but then she has to leave everything as she has and leave San Jose for Japan, for she has to search for a long-lost relative who could explain what contains inside that box. However, there is a problem as Celeste doesn't understand Japanese, and then of course there is the long distance and the difference of the cultures but she has decided to take the plunge since she so badly wanted to know more about her father.

During her stay in Japan, she met Takuya, her homestay "brother" who is able to converse in English, and a "teacher" whom has later became her good friend. With their help, Celeste is able to trace her family roots and learn about the Japanese culture but not without some mistakes and embarrassment along the way.

First of all, I loved the plot and setting of this story as I like reading about characters finding oneself through certain circumstances and how the journey has made them grown and made them a different person. I find Celeste's persistance in searching for her biological father and her enthusiasm in learning Japanese to be inspiring, and most of all I admire her courage.

However that is not all in Love in Translation, I also get to learn more about the Japanese culture (which I find it wonderful without having to search for other non-fictions on that), and that it also revolves around family, friendship and romance.

Another thing is I absolutely loved the characterization and reading Celeste's exchange with Takuya, Mrs Kubota (Takuya's mother) and her good friend, Mariko is a great delight because they are so much fun to read. I giggled a few times when reading the book and my husband could never understand how a book would do that to me.

I have a lot more good things to say about this book but I am kind of at a loss and don't know what to say anymore. Have you ever experienced this kind of feeling when after you have read a good book you just don't know where to start (or how you should say it so you could do justice to the book)? I am experiencing that right now. I guess I should end this post and just immerse myself into that wonderful memory of reading this book again.

Note: I just ordered a copy of Midori By Moonight, an earlier novel by the same author and I cannot wait to read it!

Other reviews:
(Let me know if I missed yours.)
11 Responses
  1. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    I know how you feel...I read these books and enjoy them, but rarely love them. This one has so many great aspects it seems. You have gotten my attention!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Well this is quite an endorsement. I'll have to look for it.

  3. Ceri Says:

    Definitely know what you mean when you say it's hard to express how much you love a book. You kind of run out of great things, don't you? hehe. You just want to say, 'Go out and read it!'

    This is a great review, hun. It definitely sounds like something I'd like to read - Gonna add it to my wishlist. :D

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I know exactly how you feel, as I feel that way all the time!

    You did a great job, sounds like a winner.

  5. Melody Says:

    Thanks, everyone! I hope you'll give this book a try one day! :) Can't wait to hear what you'll think when you get to it!

  6. Alice Says:

    Ahhh... so this is the book that you were telling me about. It sure sounds like a compelling read. I hope to read her both her books one day! Thanks for the review, Melody! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. :D

  7. Melody Says:

    Alice - I hope you'll read her books soon, Alice! This book is one of the best reads I had last year!! :P

  8. Iliana Says:

    This sounds like a fun book. I really like women's fiction but last year I read a few that were a bit disappointing so I will have to add this one to my list. Thank you for your great review, Melody!

  9. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I hope you'll enjoy this book when you get to it! :)

  10. Julia Says:

    Great review! It have been a long time since I read Women Fic too :) Maybe someday I redeem that LOL

  11. Melody Says:

    Julia - Thanks, Julia! I hope you'll read this book soon. :)

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