The Mulberry Leaf Whispers
Series: Brands from the Burning #2
Publication Date December 15, 2020
Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Setting: Japan World War II Era - 1939 - 1946, Azuchi–Momoyama period - Japan - 1573 - 1603
Written for: Adults
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.
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
I would like to thank Linda Thompson, Mountain Brook Ink for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: The Plum Blooms in Winter
Prepare to be carried away from 16th century Japan to the Second World War in this enduring tale of honor, faith, and the sanctity of life! The Mulberry Leaf Whispers was everything I had hoped it would be – and more.
Sono never dreamed that her faith would be tested through marriage. When her father is forced to give her in marriage to his enemy as a part of a peace treaty, they are promised she will be able to have a Christian marriage and raise her children as Christians. However, her mother-in-law quickly reveals who truly rules in her home.
I was inspired and challenged as I read how Sono stood up to the idol-worship around her. The faith and courage she showed were admirable. My heart broke with hers at the mistreatment she endured. And I was every bit as conflicted as she was regarding her pagan husband, the pirate-prince, who could write beautiful romantic poetry and then execute a man to keep his wife in line! I had such high hopes for him to change under her influence, and yet his mother…
Akira, Sono’s descendant, was introduced at the end of The Plum Blooms in Winter, and so I already knew that he was the big brother who appeared to come back from the dead though I was not aware of the back-story – where he had been or why.
It is hard for my Western mind to understand the honor/shame culture Japan had at the time of World War II. That mentality that says that failure is worthy of death, preferably administered by one’s own hand. Author Linda Thompson brings that to light so clearly when Akira survived the destruction of his ship only to be taken prisoner by the US. For him, that was worse than death. And I was able to see why he felt that way.
My emotions were all over the place as I read. The writing, the situations, and the marvelous characters were so captivating! Linda Thompson did an amazing job tying the split-timelines together.
I highly recommend this excellent story to older readers of historical fiction. According to the author’s notes, there is more to come for the Brands from the Burning series. I’m so looking forward to reading more about the Matsuura family!
If you are reading this between December 14 and 18, 2020, I’ve heard that The Plum Blooms in Winter is free during this time, and The Mulberry Leaf Whispers will be on sale for only $2.99. It is a great time to get both of the stories in this fascinating series!