Riko is an ESL teacher on a working visa in Japan, and in a spot of bother. There's been some allegations that she's been 'inappropriate' with one of her students, and deportment out of the country threatens. When her good friend invites her to go hiking in the beautiful forests of Mt Fuji, Riko is glad to get her mind off work and her troubles. But in the forest, one should never leave the path. And when Riko inevitably does she finds a half buried treasure - an old mysterious journal.
Riko cannot keep her nose out of the journal. She translates parts of it into English; beautiful, and often dark, poetical passages add another level of mystery.
broodingwas I ever a bird?
Just as she is drawn to the journal, Riko is drawn back to the forest, and suddenly her life becomes haunted by an unseen presence. Unknowingly, Riko's quest to find out more about the journal's origin puts her life in danger.
There are so many things I enjoyed about this book. The mystery builds and makes it quite a page turner by the end. I loved the supernatural element, told so convincingly, it almost seems like an actual Japanese folklore at times. Riko is immediately likable. And what I loved most is the imagery of Mt Fuji and those beautiful yet eerie forests. Ashley Capes is a poet and his power to evoke strong visual imagery is a wonderful element in this story.
The grass was cut close; the water's edge a brilliant deep blue. Across the lake, clear of snow, loomed Mt Fuji — a dark purple giant. Almost glorious, the way it hugged the sky lines, seemingly unconcerned with everything below it. Even its reflection in the silken surface of the lake was proud.Whether you're a lover of poetic language or not, the visual descriptions in this story will have you fully immersed in the landscape and the mystery.
Fans of paranormal mysteries and ghost stories will love this book. Readers will also enjoy the beautiful Japanese setting and 'mythology'. I fully recommend A Whisper of Leaves to anyone who likes a good story.
If you'd like to enter a draw to win a free copy of A Whisper of Leaves all you have to do is sign up to my mailing list. I'm giving away three copies, and all my list subscribers can enter. The winners will be drawn at the end of July. Good luck!