All Sorrows Can Be Borne

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All Sorrows Can Be Borne was absolutely beautiful. Loren Stephens writes the heart-wrenching story of Noriko and her husband Ichiro, a young Japanese couple who give up their son to American relatives. The plot follows the story of how the pair ended up making this choice by following Noriko and Ichiro from childhood through into adulthood. This novel was truly moving; I felt their families’ pain radiating through the pages and I sympathized with both parties on all accounts. Readers who enjoy more serious novels would not want to miss out on this read.

Noriko and Ichiro were both survivors of the Hiroshima bomb, set off in 1945. They were just elementary school children when this horrific event altered their lives forever. Noriko was lucky; her papa saved her from the rubble at her local school and the only mark left on her was the scar on her forehead. With their family house still intact and her loved ones safe and sound, it is easy to say Noriko got the better end of the stick. Ichiro was not nearly as fortunate. His father died in the bombing, leaving him and his sister to an abusive stepmother who abandoned them. Ichiro and his sister were forced to provide for themselves, unable to finish school due to the need to make ends meet.

At the age of fourteen, Ichiro found himself working at a local tearoom, eventually making his way up the ladder to restaurant manager. This tearoom is where Noriko and Ichiro meet. Having had very different lives and opportunities due to their circumstances after the bombing, they are on different paths with different beliefs. Noriko has dreams of becoming an actress and has thus far been very successful in her endeavors. A fearless, independent young woman, she is determined to make her family proud and herself wealthy. Noriko starts working at the tearoom to help pay her father back for her schooling, and Ichiro just happens to be her manager. Despite their differences, young love always seems to win, and they find themselves happily married.

Unfortunately, the rest of the novel isn’t as bright. As beautiful dreams fall apart, depression and ill health enter the story. Lack of money and resources further contribute to their downfall, and the couple finds themselves in seemingly impossible situations. The story of Ichiro and Noriko is one laced with so much passionate love and so much unfortunate hardship.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 360 pages
Publisher Rare Bird
Publish Date 11-May-2021
ISBN 9781644281987 Buy this Book
Issue January 2022
Category Historical Fiction