The Mulberry Leaf Whispers by Linda Thompson – Book Review

Posted December 15, 2020 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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The Mulberry Leaf Whispers by Linda Thompson – Book Review

The Mulberry Leaf Whispers

by Linda Thompson


Series: Brands from the Burning #2
Series Rating:
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
Pages: 374

Synopsis:

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 received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.


Also in this series: The Plum Blooms in Winter

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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!

Also in this Series

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About Linda Thompson

Linda Thompson stepped back from a corporate career that spanned continents to write what she loves–stories where reckless faith meets relentless redemption. Her recently launched debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter, is an A.C.F.W. Genesis award winner. Linda writes from the sun-drenched Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, a third-generation airline pilot who doubles as her Chief Military Research Officer, two mostly-grown-up kids, and a small platoon of housecats. When Linda isn’t writing, you’ll find her rollerblading–yes, that does make her a throwback–taking in a majestic desert moonrise, or dreaming of an upcoming trip. She and her husband recently returned from a tour of Israel and Jordan and a visit to Wales.

Linda loves to connect with readers!

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3 responses to “The Mulberry Leaf Whispers by Linda Thompson – Book Review

  1. lmthomps

    …and how could I fail to mention the stunning shareables!! Thank you so much for all that effort, Phyllis!

  2. Holly Love

    I definitely give this book 5 stars.

    Linda Thompson’s beautiful story about faith and redemption, love and loss and redefining what living honorably really means is a gripping tale that will relentlessly capture your attention.
    It is a time-slip novel, set in Japan in the 16th century and post-World War II. Linda’s research, as usual, is impeccable, creating a stunning backdrop drawing the reader into the places each character finds him or herself in. Her writing is delicate and detailed, giving the reader all the information needed to be comfortable with the settings.
    Sono is the daughter of a powerful 16th-century Catholic samurai. She is agreeing to marry a non-Christian in a rival house to broker a political alliance. Sono feels stifled and ensnared in her marital home and is faced with heartbreaking decisions involving honor, faith and her place in society. Akira Matsuura is the captain of a Japanese warship. In the 1942 Doolittle Raid, his ship is destroyed and he becomes an American war prisoner. Both characters are guided and ultimately trapped by the expectations of their family and their culture. They find themselves being forced to accept a new way of life, lifestyles that neither of them believed tolerable.
    Their faith journey enhances the readers’ faith journey, with struggles of belief, difficult choices about honor and expectation and survival spanning the centuries and revealed as questions we all must answer.
    The path they find themselves on contains lessons for us all.
    Linda Thompson’s skill as a writer defies genre: fans of Christian literature, historical fiction and literary fiction will find something to love about this book.

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