Angela Davis-Gardner's Plum Wine (Univ. of Wisconsin, Apr. 3) is a multi-layered, gorgeously written novel about an American teacher in Japan during the Vietnam War. Through memoirs she inherits from a friend, she learns of the horrors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and its aftermath, compromising her relationship with her lover. It's all handled very sensitively. I haven't been this excited about a book since ColdMountain—it reminds me of that book because it's so finely crafted; it took the author 10 years to write it, like Charles Frazier. It also gets you thinking about American foreign policy, though it's not polemical at all. I've personally sent out galleys to 17 bookseller colleagues with a strong recommendation. Book Sense has also accepted it. On that strength, I'm pleased to say Wisconsin is planning to do another printing.
Volume 253 Issue 13 03/27/2006