This well-researched historical novel totally drew me in. Sumi, a samurai’s daughter in the mid-19th century, respects her culture’s traditional Japanese ways, yet finds them too restrictive. She has dreams beyond needlework and flower arranging–dreams that shock most of her relatives.
In The Year of the Barbarian, Boyles paints a lovely portrait of a girl who is curious about and intrigued by the Americans who are starting to work in her city–but at the same time, bewildered and even scandalized by their strange manners. Her curiosity and open-mindedness threaten her safety more than once. Worse, they could cause trouble for her family.
I highly recommend this book as a Great Weekend Read. And don’t miss Dragonfly Wings, the next in the trilogy.
Thanks for reading,