Najin doesn’t want to live a traditional Korean life, but her father tries to force her into a marriage with an aristocratic family. Her mother, defying the obedient wife tradition, arranges a position for her in the king’s court as a companion to a young princess. With Japan’s control over the country and the dying monarchy, Najin’s life becomes oppressive. When she unexpectedly finds love, they are soon separated and she must face Japan’s attack on China and Pearl Harbour while her husband is an ocean away.
Luz James feels lost. She’s been shifted from pillar to post since childhood because of her mother’s job. Now she’s in Okinawa, a tiny group of islands that belong to Japan. She’s already lost the grandmother she loved, but when she loses her closest friend, her sister, Luz can’t hold it together. She hangs out with a group every night to get high. On one of those nights she wanders off and encounters something that leads her on a path to discover her unknown family and the Okinawan women whose secret she discovers.
This is not only a great tale, but the historical setting with flashbacks to a young Okinawa school girl during the war reveals a lot about the Japanese and their attitudes towards the people of this island.
Blackout is about a number of characters who travel back in time to view different events during World War II, but after they arrive, there’s a mess up in the time travel lab, and they find themselves unable to return to their future.
This is a fast pace, fascinating insight into the lives of regular people during the war. While Blackout abruptly ends, All Clear continues with the telling of this exciting adventure. I think the publishers found this story too long for one book and made it into two, much to my annoyance when I reached the end of Blackout and discovered the words, to be continued. Continue reading “Connie Willis’ — Blackout and All Clear *****”