#1 in the Mas Arai series, featuring an older Japanese-American gardener in Southern California who is a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Mas's past has always haunted him. He lives in a run-down old house alone, his wife having died of stomach cancer a few years previously and his lone daughter living in New York. Mas mows lawns, trims hedges, plays cards and loves his old 1956 Ford pickup. When strangers come to town asking about Joji Haneda, an old friend of Mas's from Hiroshima, he knows that the past is coming back to take vengeance. This will be a summer of bachi (karma) for him. When the grandson of an old friend shows up asking questions and then is arrested for murder, Mas does his best to free the young man though he wants to take the path he has always taken--the path of non-involvement. Very unique writing, dialogue...you felt immersed in the culture and yet at the same time struggled to understand just what was happening and why certain things were so relevant. I really liked this book and will be looking for the next in series.
A novel of Hiroshima in 1945, desperate messures to survive and the repercussions in Los Angeles in 1999. War, secrets, revenge and retribution.