Love, devotion and war have always made for strong ingredients in the sort of humanistic story that is a pleasure to read, and that holds true for this tale of heartbreak about a man and a woman from two separate nations during wartime.
The fact that this is a love story involving two of the most reserved nations of people in recent history - a British man and a Japanese woman - is amazing in that the story is even in the least bit intriguing. This trial of unrequited love wouldn't even have come down to us from the private past if the principles were not devoted letter writers. Pagamenta has done a superb job of recreating the past and piloting us through a little-known story that has at its core the very essence of life beyond simply breathing...not such an easy thing to do with such an immense weight pressing down on one's heart.
So do take into consideration, before passing on this book due to my bland 3-star rating, that Sword and Blossom
is a very good read for fans of Memoirs of a Geisha
or anyone who wants a non-fiction love story and don't mind it not being overly dramatic. Essentially, as long as you don't read this expecting mad passion and fireworks, you should find it quite enjoyable.