Midori by Moonlight – Wendy Nelson Tokunaga

Quickie review and reminder to enter the book giveaway for Midori by Moonlight.

I received the book in the post Tuesday afternoon and finished it last night. On the bookmark that came with it there is a line that I think sums up the novel and why I had to read until I finished it.

“Tokunaga explores the theme of why some people feel the need to trade in their native culture for a new one.”*

Midori,the main character, is 29 and single. In Japan that makes her a “loser dog”, a spinster, a woman who willfully refused to fulfill her gender obligations. After spending a life out of step with traditional expectations, Midori flees the prospect of an arranged marriage by accepting the proposal of an American man who represents a way of life more than he is a real person to her. 

After arriving in San Francisco, Midori discovers that Kevin’s reasons for wanting to marry her are not much higher up on the “right reasons” scale than hers are. With the engagement off, Midori determines she must find a way to stay in the United States on her own.

It’s a story of cultural differences, gender expectations, and ultimately finding yourself and someone else.

There are the typical chick-lit elements, but they are not over the top or annoying. The over-arching theme of discovering who you are and where you fit in and how to do this without compromise drives the plot. The female characters are well drawn. The happy ever after ending came up suddenly, and I thought it was tied up a bit too neatly in the end, but it didn’t mar the overall enjoyment of the book.

If you like rom-com, you’ll enjoy this. Tokunaga is a good writer. Her narrative is smooth and the pace is perfect. It’s worth a read.


*I can relate on numerous levels.

3 thoughts on “Midori by Moonlight – Wendy Nelson Tokunaga

  1. Sounds like a good one to add to my list. I appreciated your review that gave the overall theme and tone without giving away the details of the plot.

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