When two sisters land on the shores of Japan in 1861, one uses her ability to pass for white as her ticket into elite society, while the other fights for her freedom and the right to love a Samurai in the novel GAIJIN.
As the Civil War breaks out in America, new bride Cordelia Bice and her sister Rachel travel to Japan in hopes of fleeing a family legacy of madness and murder.
Born of the same slave mother, with Cordelia’s marriage to an idealistic missionary, Rachel sees Japan as a means of freedom for both of them. But once Cordelia is embraced by a risqué group of westerners and their opium and orgy lifestyle, Rachel witnesses their tragic downfall, and that of Tenshi Nishizato, a student and interpreter whose elation at returning home is tempered by Japan’s emerging military.
Believing western influence is stripping his homeland of its proud history, and learning that his father’s additional duties include procuring comfort wives for western diplomats, Tenshi joins with other disgruntled students and Samurai to take back his homeland from the “Tôjin” or barbarians. As the lives of these once hopeful residents intersect, class warfare, betrayal and murder prevail under the arresting beauty of a changing Japan.©