Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: The Extraordinary Far East
Author Guest / August 18, 2021

As lazy late summer beckons toward fall, we turn to stories about extraordinary women from the Far East, the circumstances, and actual characters of several based on real events. Beginning chronologically, John J. Healey’s THE SAMURAI’S DAUGHTER presents the unusual tale of a little-known episode in history.  In 1614, Japan sent a delegation to Spain to establish trade and cultural relationships with King Phillip III.  One member, samurai Shiro, became a popular figure at court and won the heart of a noble Spanish lady.  The story is narrated by their daughter, Soledad Maria, called Masako by her father, who is raised as both a samurai and a European.  After her mother’s death, Masako’s father decides to return them to Japan, sending them on a peril-filled journey halfway across the world.  Once back in Japan, they face new dangers from enemies at home.  Throughout this transition, Masako must decide who she really is—Spanish lady or samurai nobility.  Full of detailed descriptions of the customs and privileges of upper-class Europeans and Japanese at the time, Healey’s story illuminates Masako’s struggle between personal desires and family duty. Autumn Bardot’s DRAGON LADY brings us a fictionalized account of an amazing real-life woman in 18th…