A friend of mine recommended this book to me. She often finds me hidden gems to read, as I am always looking for that ‘something different’ kind of book. I read the synopsis to Love and Truth and instantly felt like I was going to love it. I was so excited, that I even contacted the author before I read it, to tell her how keen I was to read it. Why was I so ramped up about this book? Well… Love and Truth centers around Nicole and Jonathan. Both characters come from a Japanese mother and an American father. This is what sealed the deal for me reading this as I also come from the same ethnic background. I was interested in seeing how Kathryn Vance-Perez was going to work the culture and ethnicity into the story line.
I was completely able to relate to Nicole’s character in that like her, I have never been to my mother’s country. I have been exposed to many aspects of Japanese culture but never been immersed in it. I appreciated how Vance-Perez did not overdue, so to speak, Nicole’s knowledge and lack thereof of the Japanese way of life— especially Okinawan life. Nicole’s appreciation for her culture and background was so refreshing and vibrant. It may seem odd to notice but at times it is difficult to immerse yourself in two different cultures. One usually is more dominant than the other – depending on where you end up living. This was the case in Love and Truth. Nicole grew up in America and therefore was aware of her Japanese side but did not know too much about it. Jonathan on the other hand grew up in Okinawa and was well aware and practiced in Japanese culture and mannerisms.
When Nicole and Jonathan come together it is like opposite poles of a magnet. No matter how much you try to keep them apart they are undeniably attracted to each other. Coming from the same cultures but growing up with the one the other had not made for the perfect pairing—or did it? Although the couple had so much in common and so much to bond them, there was the underlying feeling (at least to me) that Nicole and Jonathan were almost envious of the other’s upbringing. I suppose it is more of a sense of being denied part of whom they are…
I loved that this story’s sense of naivety did not just center on a sexual nature. It went further. It was about finding who you are, where you needed to go, and who would be there to share it with you. I also really appreciated that this naivety was not one sided. Both Nicole and Jonathan both had growing to do and had choices to make.
Kathryn Vance-Perez added the perfect little tid bits of Japanese culture that would not overwhelm a reader who is not familiar but would make those who are familiar smile. I found myself often remembering stories that my grandmother told me or remembering things my great grandfather used to do with me as a young child.
So Love and Truth was a refreshing story to read. I without a doubt recommend this read. And I cannot wait to read more from author Kathryn Vance- Perez. D 4/5