I just finished a book that I absolutely adored. I know I loved it since I finished it in three days! And its women's fiction too and done well. (Yep, I write women's fiction and I admit I'm a picky customer when it comes to the genre. I'd been waiting weeks for a book to keep me coming back!) Turning Japanese by Cathy Yardley took me on a whirlwind adventure to Japan with Lisa Falloya, a half-Japanese, half-Italian woman, who won a manga contest. With her winning entry, she became an intern at a Japanese company for a year.
Where do I even begin? The story gave me so much. Personally, I am a fan of Japanese anime. I loved my first encounter with Vampire Hunter D (and now the Emma Victorian Romance series) and my inner geekiness was appeased with Lisa's adventures in Japanese learning about the culture and her work environment at Sansoro Publishing. I walked in Lisa's shoes while she lived with the Kanai family and went to work everyday. I reveled in learning about the Japanese culture. From the weird food (octopus in the fettucine and seaweed ice cream) to the various settings, Cathy made me want to go so bad. (And leave the munchkins behind. LOL)
And the emotional rollercoaster at the end kept hitting me hard. Just the right formula for women's fiction to keep me coming back again and again! I hate admitting it, but I got teary eyed when Lisa had to leave Japan during her party at Denny's. (If you haven't read the book ignore everything I've revealed. But I can't help it...)
I was reading the catalogs of the houses where I'm being submitted and I came upon the book and instantly thought, I wanna read it! And it was SO worth it. Cathy has a great voice and this book shined. *happy sigh*