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Simon and Hiroko
 
 

Simon and Hiroko [Kindle Edition]

Marius Hancu
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.88
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Product Description

Product Description

Hiroko Yuasa, a Japanese traditional dancer, sways and turns in one of her dances, and Simon Fraser thinks he might not have enough film to capture her. He deems himself lucky -- it has taken him months to find her again in Tokyo, after their chance meet at Narita. An American architectural photographer on contract in Japan, he plans already an exhibition with their work together. They take their time in their love.

Before any words of a formal proposal are spoken though, her father gets wind of their palpable closeness. Here is a man thought to have killed with a single Katana slash her mother's lover once. Also certifiably known to have risen to be a Japanese Mafia godfather years after pushing the car of a gang of made men into the moat of the Imperial palace. A teenager then. And Kazuhiro Yuasa has for this misalliance of his daughter only the eyes of a man whose father was a Kamikaze pilot who died by throwing his plane against an American warship during WWII.

An ocean proves too small for Kazuhiro to fail to get understanding from Simon's parents to do together whatever it takes to keep the young couple separate. And close-to-the-heart history has a huge bearing.

Simon and Hiroko are not aware of the secret agreement, and they decide to visit each the family of the other. Their "Sakura" space of love should help them keep in touch. They believe things are going to be OK. Only they're not, for when evil is started it has a mind of its own.

115,000 words.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 575 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1482673258
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0092EYSIU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich 13 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A love story set within different cultures, which brings tension and obstacles in believable steps. It is a familiar tale, and somewhat traditional, bringing to mind the classical writings of days gone by.

It is well written, bringing alive the very real feelings involved in this kind of story.

I do not give spoilers, but will say that this book gives wonderful insight into richly woven worlds, maybe not our own.

Good reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing reading 21 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
'From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.'

(Romeo and Juliet, Prologue)

Simon and Hiroko by Marius Hancu might be read as a modern version of the story of the lovers from Verona. Hancu's novel is set in modern Japan: Simon is a young American photographer and Hiroko a dancer. Hiroko's father, a Yakuza boss, has never forgotten the end of World War II and cannot approve his daughter's love for an American boy. Simon's family doesn't understand his job choices and feel only contempt for Japanese people. But Simon and Hiroko love each other and want to overcome all these sufferings... will they be able to live their life? Will they succeed in being free from their families' burden? In a climax of suspence, grief and incomprehension, Hancu tells us a fascinating story about the power of two young people in a world that tries to suffocate one of the driving forces of human life: love. But hatred is strong as well and Simon and Hiroko will have to fight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simon and Hiroko 1 Nov 2012
By lady g
Format:Kindle Edition
When Simon met Hiroko Yuesa, it was mostly loves sweet side. She had her traditional dancing and he his photography. However her father Kazuhiro Yuesa has someone else in mind for his daughter to marry.And as hate cuts both ways an ocean proves to small for Kazuhiro to get understanding from Simons family to do whatever it takes to keep the lovers apart. Now it is up to Simon and Hiroko to make the families understand there love and committment to each other. This story reminded me a litte of Romeo and Juliet, but will the couple survive what the Frasers and the Yuasas have in store for them ? Or will they end up like Romeo and Juliet. A must read, if your looking for a great romance story. I look forward to reading more books by this author Marius Hancu
> Go to Amazon.com to see the review
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon and Hiroko 1 Oct 2012
By lady g - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When Simon met Hiroko Yuesa, it was mostly loves sweet side. She had her traditional dancing and he his photography. However her father Kazuhiro Yuesa has someone else in mind for his daughter to marry.And as hate cuts both ways an ocean proves to small for Kazuhiro to get understanding from Simons family to do whatever it takes to keep the lovers apart. Now it is up to Simon and Hiroko to make the families understand there love and committment to each other. This story reminded me a litte of Romeo and Juliet, but will the couple survive what the Frasers and the Yuasas have in store for them ? Or will they end up like Romeo and Juliet. A must read, if your looking for a great romance story. I look forward to reading more books by this author Marius Hancu
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing reading 20 Nov 2012
By Dona Flor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
'From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.'

(Romeo and Juliet, Prologue)

Simon and Hiroko by Marius Hancu might be read as a modern version of the story of the lovers from Verona. Hancu's novel is set in modern Japan: Simon is a young American photographer and Hiroko a dancer. Hiroko's father, a Yakuza boss, has never forgotten the end of World War II and cannot approve his daughter's love for an American boy. Simon's family doesn't understand his job choices and feel only contempt for Japanese people. But Simon and Hiroko love each other and want to overcome all these sufferings... will they be able to live their life? Will they succeed in being free from their families' burden? In a climax of suspence, grief and incomprehension, Hancu tells us a fascinating story about the power of two young people in a world that tries to suffocate one of the driving forces of human life: love. But hatred is strong as well and Simon and Hiroko will have to fight.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 25 Nov 2012
By Julia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
With a strong, unique voice Marius Hancu tells us a story that reveals the intimate lives of Simon and Hiroko. This is a novel that combines suspense, romance, eroticism, action and drama. Simon, an American professional photographer, falls passionately in love with Hiroko, a traditional Japanese dancer. Their love for each other is intense, but their path is full of obstacles. The fact that they both come from different cultural backgrounds makes it even more compelling. Hiroko's father is against this relationship; her father had been killed by Americans in WWII and time never quelled his resentment. He will do anything to stop them from getting married. This novel will take you to Japan, to the glamorous streets of New York and to the wildest parts of Connecticut. The author has the ability to make the tension escalate throughout the story while tapping into history, politics and conflicting family relationships. The end stirs strong emotions. It is the kind of ending you will never forget.
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and tender in the same time 31 July 2014
By Augustin I. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A very complex and intriguing story. The author has the ability to take us on a journey through history, different cultures, different geographical spaces and, most importantly, different emotional worlds, from the lyricism and beauty of love to the ugliness and cruelty of hate.
The multiple planes are well intertwined and the tension builds up progressively, culminating in a dramatic ending.
I think the story has a strong potential for adaptation to either the small or the big screen.

Andreea
4.0 out of 5 stars Romeo and Juliet meets East and West 1 Feb 2013
By Resa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

Simon is a professional photographer whose pictures have gotten him noticed internationally, and he finds himself in Japan to work on a project taking pictures of the traditional. It is on this business trip that Simon first meets Hiroko. He's lost, struggling to figure out the subway system in a country where he can barely speak the language, and Hiroko is the angel who steps in to help him find his way.

Their brief meeting at the train station is just the beginning. Simon is enchanted, but with only the girl's first name to go on he has little to go on to find her again. So he sets up a plan, going to the same place every day holding up a sign, desperately seeking the girl who has stolen his heart. And, of course, they find each other.

But this is where the story takes it's tragic twist. Simon is from a wealthy American family, American traditionalists (if you can call them that) and a family that had family members die during WWII. Hiroko's family is no different, with her father still hating the country that set the atomic bomb on his. As the two star crossed lovers fall deeper in love their families want nothing more than to see them torn apart. Then Hiroko's father comes up with a plan. Let the lovers spend some time in the other culture alone, let them experience that hate on their own, and see if their love would survive. As the two go their separate ways they find out they have a bond that can travel across an ocean, but it won't be enough.

In this unique tribute to the Shakespearean classic "Romeo and Juliet" Hancu takes the aftermath from one of the worst wars in history and creates two rival families that would rival the Montagues and Capulets without going to any of those re-imagined stand bys (like rival street gangs). Hancu also does a good job of blending the traditional Japanese culture with the less traditional Western one that makes for an interesting contrast. The language throughout the novel isn't always smooth though, and I'm not sure if this comes from a language difference or a desire to sound more literary than needed. Sometimes a character's narration sounded unnatural or forced (like a Yakuza boss insulting someone by calling them a "fuddle head") and it was difficult to understand what style Hancu was trying for here. The two main conflicts in the plot (I don't want to say too much and give away the ending) also seemed a little forced and simply there so the plot could come to its planned ending.

While there did seem to be some flaws with some of the characters (Simon's parents are as flat as can be and Hiroko's father is not far behind) Hancu creates two vibrant main characters with a believable relationship. The contrast of traditional and modern culture makes for a unique background just as vibrant as the two main characters and makes this book a compelling read even if there are sections that slow it down. I would have liked to see the secondary characters developed a little more, but even in the original "Romeo and Juliet" the side characters leave a lot to be desired in terms of growth and development. With a unique concept that has been executed well make this book one that I would recommend, especially to anyone with a love of Japanese culture.
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