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May 7, 2018

Shadow Child by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto (giveaway)

Monday, May 07, 2018

Shadow Child by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto
Published May 8 2018, Grand Central Publishing
eGalley provided in exchange for this review and giveaway

A haunting and suspenseful literary tale set in 1970s New York City and World War II-era Japan, about three strong women, the dangerous ties of family and identity, and the long shadow our histories can cast.
Twin sisters Hana and Kei grew up in a tiny Hawaiian town in the 1950s and 1960s, so close they shared the same nickname. Raised in dreamlike isolation by their loving but unstable mother, they were fatherless, mixed-race, and utterly inseparable, devoted to one another. But when their cherished threesome with Mama is broken, and then further shattered by a violent, nearly fatal betrayal that neither young woman can forgive, it seems their bond may be severed forever--until, six years later, Kei arrives on Hana's lonely Manhattan doorstep with a secret that will change everything.
Told in interwoven narratives that glide seamlessly between the gritty streets of New York, the lush and dangerous landscape of Hawaii, and the horrors of the Japanese internment camps and the bombing of Hiroshima, SHADOW CHILD is set against an epic sweep of history. Volcanoes, tsunamis, abandonment, racism, and war form the urgent, unforgettable backdrop of this intimate, evocative, and deeply moving story of motherhood, sisterhood, and second chances.

This novel is not a story that you can put down and expect to come back to a few days later. There are so many threads of the story of two generations of women that weave in and out throughout the entire novel that you need to be on your toes to keep up otherwise you're not going to get it. This is a haunting novel that speaks of traumatic events as it skims the surface of insanity. Lost children, nuclear bombs, tidal waves and jealous friendships are just a slip within the novel.

The novel is difficult to put into a tiny box, hence the long synopsis. The twins' mother is a survivor on all levels and yet her girls know very little about her. It turns out they don't even know her real name though clues are given away as bedtime stories. Growing up in Hawaii sounds like it would be ideal but tragedy makes one twin feel forced to get away as far as possible as she is a loner. The story opens up to what you think is going to be a crime solving novel but twists and turns through moments in time of through World War II and back again make you sometimes wonder whose narrative belongs to who. There is a bit of a psychological element here as well especially when you never know if the mother is here or there, and the author purposely trips up the narrative of the twins to show how closely they are connected.

I really enjoyed the story itself and how it kept me guessing. There are events that are slowly unraveling in the book that made me think that's not how I would have done it and the tone was overall depressing especially when it ends a bit abruptly once all the threads are lined up in a neat row for us to see. I would have liked there to be a redeeming note to end on, but we just have to hope that there actually was one when the pages ended.

Many thanks to the publisher Grand Central Publishing for offering two copies open to US and Canada for my subscribers:
If you are receiving this review through your email as a subscriber of my blog and would like to be entered to win your own copy of Shadow Child by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto please forward the email back to reviewer(@) but remove the parentheses. Giveaway ends May 11. I will respond to the winners requesting your mailing address to forward to the publisher. You will have 48 hours to respond.

Hope to make someone's Mother's Day a little brighter!

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