All Sorrows Can Be Borne

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All Sorrows Can Be Borne is a heartwrenching story inspired by true events. The story follows the main characters, Noriko and Ichiro, and starts in 1964 when the couple is bringing their toddler son, Hisashi, to the airport to go live with Ichiro’s sister and her husband. Noriko and Ichiro live in Japan and Ichiro’s sister lives in America in the State of Montana. It is a long way for a little boy to go. Readers will wonder why the couple is giving their son up, but the story then rewinds to Spring of 1943 when Noriko is just a little girl. We then follow her through her timeline to when she meets Ichiro. The story takes us through the bombing of Hiroshima and explains the horrible deaths and illnesses the Japanese people incurred because of this event. Noriko’s father owns a successful sushi restaurant and after the bombing, he and many other Japanese citizens must work hard to rebuild their fallen businesses and homes. Noriko strives to make her family proud and become an actress and singer. Her father pays for her lessons and soon, at seventeen years old, she is ready to audition for the Takarazuka Academy. Unfortunately, Noriko ends up failing her audition. In an attempt to pay her father back, she goes to work for her older sister, Setsuko, at her family’s tearoom. It is there that Noriko meets tearoom manager, Ichiro. He is several years older than she is but they fall in love. He is a hard worker and a very intelligent man, not to mention very handsome. Noriko and Ichiro get married and Noriko becomes pregnant with their son. While Noriko is pregnant, Ichiro finds out that he has tuberculosis which is the same disease his mother died of. The doctors say he must have contracted it in utero and that it was most likely dormant until this point.

Ichiro falls very ill and is in and out of the hospital/sanatorium. From here, depression sets in as he does not know how he is going to take care of his family. It is heartbreaking to see Ichiro try and try again but feel like such a failure as he has difficulty keeping a job. Through it all, Noriko never stops loving him and even agrees to send Hisashi away so that their little boy may have a better life.

Emotionally gripping with themes of true love, sacrifice, depression, and perseverance, All Sorrows Can Be Borne will give its readers so much to think about and be grateful for in their own lives. This is a beautiful, carefully written, detailed story filled with historical events and wonderful descriptions of Japan and Japanese customs.

Reviewed By:

Author Loren Stephens
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 360 pages
Publisher Rarebird
Publish Date 11-May-2021
ISBN 9781644281987 Buy this Book
Issue January 2022
Category Historical Fiction