Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Mulberry Leaf Whispers by Linda Thompson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Mulberry Leaf Whispers Series: Brands from the Burning #2 Author: Linda Thompson Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink Release Date: December 15, 2020 Genre: Christian Historical Fiction A WWII Japanese naval officer. The teenage daughter of a legendary Christian samurai. Three centuries separate them, but a crucial question binds their destinies together. Which lives have value? In the highly anticipated sequel to her award-winning debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter, Linda Thompson provides a riveting story inspired by true events. “Splendid story!… Rivals Shogun with its sweeping story of passion and faith, of survival and hope…. Be prepared to be enriched, moved and deeply satisfied.” – Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of Something Worth Doing “Gorgeous… not-to-be-missed…” – Sarah Sundin, bestselling and Carol Award-winning author of When Twilight Breaks and the Sunrise at Normandy series 1587. Bartered off in a peace agreement to the ancient enemies of her illustrious house, is Sono a war prize, a hostage, or a bride? One hope sustains her. If she can provide an heir to the dashing husband she just met, she’ll ensure decades of peace for the beloved family she was forced to leave behind. But when a dark secret threatens her desperate bid to purchase their security, she must rise to a battle she never dreamed she’d fight. 1942. Akira Matsuura’s naval vessel explodes under enemy fire. Everything he has lived for disappears in flames with it. His command, his crew, his future—all lost. Worse, his honor is eternally decimated. A prisoner’s life is of value to no one. Least of all to himself. But a stunning twist reveals his family’s secret shame. Can a long-buried truth provide the vital spark that reignites his will to live? Thrill to two poignant journeys of courage, duty, and sacrifice, deftly woven through the centuries to inspire with dynamic faith that conquers despair.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
There are two stories in this one book. The dates are nothing alike: 1500’s and 1940’s, but the lives of the main characters are connected. The book brings each one to life and makes you feel like you are right there with them.
The story of Sono is beautifully told. This young woman is the daughter of a wealthy Japanese man who must make a decision to bring peace. He gives his daughter in marriage to the house of his enemy. This family is of Catholic faith and call themselves Kirishitan (Christian).
The father convinces his nervous daughter that this is God’s will, but she is afraid. As she arrives to marry the son of the house of Matsuura, she soon learns that her life is very different. Although she is promised religious freedom, her mother-in-law has different plans.
Her mother-in-law uses her power to try and deny Sono her rights to worship God, and wants the heir to be raised in the Buddhist faith. Sono has to take many risks to do what she believes is right. When she gives birth to her firstborn son, he is a month early. The family wants to discard the baby in the culturally accepted way.
She makes a dangerous decision to save his life. This succeeds, but there is more danger in store. Will Sono be able to worship God or be drawn into the Buddhist ways. What will her husband do when things come to a frightening climax?
In between the stages of this story, we also follow the life of a Japanese sailor who is bombed at sea during WWII. He almost perishes, but is rescued and taken to an American prison camp. He works hard to learn to read English and this opens doors to him.
In the camp hospital he is visited by a Christian who shares God with him. He struggles with being alive, because everyone else on his ship died. His honor is bound to his Japanese beliefs. He feels unworthy to live, because he will bring his family shame by his failure to succeed in battle.
A friendly American colonel makes a way for him to find employment on a shipping line. But, as the ship passes over the spot where he lost his battleship and mates, he grows despondent and tries to jump overboard.
A war-hero from America is on the ship and is awakened and prodded by God to go and stop him. This man pulls him in the ship and stays up all night to talk to him about God’s plan for his life.
Over time, Akira becomes a Christian and realizes he should go back to Japan. He wants to see his family, but feels that they will hate him because of the shame he’s brought to his family. When he returns to Japan, he finds his sister has become a prostitute out of desperation. His father is dying of radiation poisoning (from the atomic bomb). His mother and younger brother were killed by American bombing raids.
This story gets more and more intriguing and the book wraps up both stories in such an amazing way. I was thrilled to find out that this is definitely based on a true story. I am excited to see the real Matsuura family history in Japan. Akira’s story is also based on some real-life characters during the war.
I really loved this book and couldn’t put it down! I want to now go back and read the first book, as well as any other books by this author. I highly recommend this book.
(1) winner will receive a copy of the soon-to-be-released audiobook for Linda’s award-winning debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter, her latest release, The Mulberry Leaf Whispers, in winner’s choice of Kindle or paperback format, plus a $10 Amazon gift card!
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 4, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 11, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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