One Morning Like A Bird: Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller’s latest book is set in Japan around 1940, when Japan was at war with China, but not yet an enemy of the Allied Forces in World War II. The story centres on Yuji Takano, a young Japanese man from a well-to-do family who has grown up on an allowance and spends his leisure reading poetry and watching Hollywood movies. Yuji’s interest in all things Western leads him to a meeting with Mr. Feneon, a silk broker living and working in Japan. When Yuji’s allowance is cut, he is forced to find work through a friend owning a trading store. He helps Mr.Feneon secure a contract to manufacture parachutes for the Japanese government. It is through these endeavours that Yuji becomes involved with Mr. Feneon’s young daughter Allisa, who shares his taste for literature and film, but also likes Japanese culture, wearing kimonos and learning Japanese classical dance. As Yuji becomes more involved with the Feneons, he finds himself even more alienated from his family and his country.

The author’s attention to detail, both thematically and in characterisation, makes this book an intriguing and beautiful read.