Yuki Means Happiness
By Alison Jean Lester
An emotional exploration of the ties that bind nanny and charge from the author of Lillian on Life
'A mystery, a love story and a fascinating encounter with a different culture, Yuki Means Happiness is an outstanding novel' John Boyne
Diana is young and uneasy in a new relationship when she leaves America and moves halfway around the world to Tokyo seeking adventure. In Japan she takes a job as a nanny to two-year-old Yuki Yoshimura and sets about adapting to a routine of English practice, ballet and swimming lessons, and Japanese cooking.
But as Diana becomes increasingly attached to Yuki she also becomes aware that everything in the Yoshimura household isn't as it first seemed. Before long, she must ask herself if she is brave enough to put everything on the line for the child under her care, confronting her own demons at every step of the way.
Yuki Means Happiness is a rich and powerfully illuminating portrait of the intense relationship between a young woman and her small charge, as well as one woman's journey to discover her true self.
Alison Jean Lester was born to an American father and a British mother, and educated in the US, the UK, China and Italy. She spent twenty-five years working, writing and raising her children in Japan and Singapore before relocating to the UK in 2016. She is the author of the novel Lillian on Life and has had short stories published in Ecotone, Good Housekeeping, Synaesthesia and Barrelhouse.
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- Publication date:
11 Jan 2018
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A mystery, a love story and a fascinating encounter with a different culture, Yuki Means Happiness is an outstanding novel — John Boyne
The theme of Alison Jean Lester's novel is the maternal instinct, movingly evoked here in various guises. It's funny, warm, scary - and thoroughly recommended — Daily Mail
With Alison Jean Lester's beautiful prose, the simplicity of the narrative, and the uneasy complexities of her characters bubbling to the surface, the plot is much more than what the nanny saw . . . she has the Midas touch — Mitford Society
Beautifully rendered . . . Lester has the most wonderful eye, capturing the little details of Diana's alien new life with such simplicity and precision as to capture a rare beauty in the everyday . . . Lester has constructed her novel like an elegant piece of origami, every element deftly arranged into something as close to perfection as I can imagine — National
A slow unfurling of what it means to love and fiercely protect another person's child, set against the intricate backdrop of Japan — Emerald Street