Harvest House Publishers
In Siri L. Mitchell’s book Moon Over Tokyo, the author explores answered prayers, stubbornness, and developing love in the life of Allie O’Conner. Allie finds herself in Tokyo without an English speaking friend. She prays for one and gets more than she expected. She is confused about how to respond to her new friend Eric. Her prayer is answered differently from what she had expected.
Moon Over Tokyo is written from the perspective of Allie in later years. She is looking back over this part in her life. The relationship between Allie and Eric starts out as friendship but quickly moves into something else. Allie thinks that she loves Eric but refuses to kiss or be kissed by him, in the fear that the relationship will be ruined if she does. The most memorable part in this book is when Eric begins to ask Allie a series of questions as they sit on a beach in the moonlight. He asks if she thinks he is handsome, and Allie says, “Yes.” She instantly regrets having said it, so she gets up and runs across the beach. Another memorable scene occurs much later in the book when Allie and Eric quote an old saying together, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.” This is a good representation of Allie and Eric’s relationship.
Allie O’Conner works for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes, but she really wants to write a novel. She is living in Tokyo with only one gal pal who speaks English. It is when this one friend Gina decides to move back to Australia, leaving Allie alone, that Allie asks God for a new friend who will speak English. She doesn’t get what she expected, obviously, and finds that hard to accept. Along with this new confusing relationship with Eric, Allie is frantically trying to write her book, and both challenges are combining as the bane of her existence.
Allie has a lot of personal conflicts. This is more evident by the fact that the story is revealed from the perspective of an older Allie. The reader is able to see all of the indecision and personal arguments inside of Allie. This makes her genuine, very real. The reader is able to identify with her because we have all had little arguments with ourselves. Allie has made a promise to herself not to kiss anyone for a whole year, then Eric comes into her life and begins to challenge her resolve. Mitchell creates pathos for Eric because the reader sees that Allie loves Eric, but her refusal to kiss him or let him into her world annoys the reader as much as it does Eric. All of Allie’s interactions and relationships with the other characters are believable and fit with her personality. The author does a very good job of making all the characters believable and three dimensional. The reader can almost imagine running into any of them in real life.
Overall, the book is very well thought out and written. There are a few chapters toward the end that, although essential to the story and development of the characters, slow the plot. They make it harder to get to the much anticipated end. Other than that, the book and characters are solid. Like the haiku that begins each chapter, the sections are short and sweet, making the book fast to read. Each haiku gives a hint as to the content of the chapter, and all are well done – clever and entertaining. Mitchell draws the reader in and never lets go until the end. Anyone who likes movies such as When Harry Met Sally will enjoy this book. Anyone who likes romance novels that deal with a lot of personal turmoil and life changing choices also will enjoy this book. I have it on my shelf, and a year from now on some rainy day, I’m going to take it down and enjoy reading it again. – Elizabeth Winebrenner, Christian Book Previews.com
Though Stars and Stripes reporter Allie O’Connor has lived in Japan for two years, she still feels like a foreigner. As her best friend prepares to move away, she prays for a new friend. Just a friend.
Soon after this prayer she runs into Eric Larsen at church, an old classmate from high school. Eric has recently been assigned to the U.S. embassy and lives in Allie’s district in Tokyo. In school they had been polar opposites. He had been captain of the debate team; she had edited the literary magazine. He drank espresso, while she preferred green tea. He is definitely not the friend she was looking for. And yet...here he is. Here she is.
Will Allie accept this unexpected answer to her prayer? And will she be brave enough to really see the person she once chose to overlook?