Shizuko's Daughter

by Kyoko Mori

"People will tell you that I've done this because I did not love you. Don't... read more

"People will tell you that I've done this because I did not love you. Don't listen to them. When you grow up to be a strong woman, you will know that this is for the best." These words, left in a suicide note, and memories are all that 12-year-old Yuki has to comfort her after her mother's death. Her cold, distant father provides no strength, nor does the new wife he takes one year later. Yuki becomes buried in bitterness and anger as she grows. She feels she must fight her stepmother for the right to keep every memory of her mother that is rooted in physical things, while she becomes more and more aware of the pain her mother endured in a marriage that not only had no love, but also wiped out her strength to endure. Only art, and running, and visits to her grandparents where the memory of her mother is enshrined provide respite for Yuki from the constant battles she is waging at home, and it is only in leaving home for good that she is finally able to free herself from her bitterness and grief. This emotionally intricate novel set in contemporary Japan takes place over seven years and follows Yuki from adolescence through age 19, when she has grown into the strong woman her mother knew she would someday become. (Age 12-16)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1993

show less