Shadow Child by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Shadow Child

A haunting and suspenseful literary tale set in 1970s New York City and World War II-era Japan, about three strong women, the dangerous ties of family and identity, and the long shadow our histories can cast.Twin sisters Hana and Kei grew up in a tiny Hawaiian town in the 1950s and 1960s, so close they shared the same nickname. Raised in dreamlike isolation by their loving but unstable mother, they were fatherless, mixed-race, and utterly insepar...

Details Shadow Child

TitleShadow Child
Release DateMay 8th, 2018
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Cultural, Japan

Reviews Shadow Child

  • Jamie (jamiereadsbooks)
    SHADOW CHILD is a dark and twisty story about family, identity, trauma, and inheritance. Part thriller, part family drama, part historical fiction, I was intrigued by the relationship between twin sisters, Kei and Hana, from the very beginning. Although the shifting narrarators made the story lack cohesion at times, I do think the story ultimately landed on its feet because THAT ENDING, GUYS. Solid ⭐⭐⭐ stars for me.
  • Madeline Partner
    3.5 stars..EDIT 5/24Shadow Child begins with a pair of estranged twins, one in Hawaii and one in New York City. Kei, who lives in Hawaii, journeys across the country to visit her sister, Hana, for an unknown reason, which fills Hana with dread. Yet when Hana gets home, ready to confront Kei, she finds her sister has been attacked, and left unconscious in the bathtub. As Hana cares for her ailing sister, she begins to dredge up their past in an at...
  • Bookishfolk
    I loved the premise of the book, and wanted to see how it ended...but I struggled with the relationships in the book a bit (struggled in terms of believability) and the ending seemed far fetched and for me, fell a bit flat. With that said, I love books that deal with twins and their relationship with each other, both the good and the bad. If you are a twin, or have twins in your know first hand that that relationship is very differen...
  • Harvee
    Shadow Child by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto was an engrossing read that held my interest all the way through. The story centers around identical twins, grandchildren of a couple who were incarcerated during WWII in Japanese camps in California, and children of a mother who lived during the time of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The twins grew up in Hawaii, a land of ocean, flowers, and sunshine, but they are shadowed by the past, influenced in su...
  • Jill
    “Shadow Child” might have more accurately been named “Shadow Plot.” One is never quite sure who the characters really are or even what really happens to them.The story is ostensibly about twin sisters, Hana and Kei, born in Hawaii. Their mother, Miya, is laughed at by the community as “the town’s crazy lady who had breakdowns in public and talked to ghosts.” With the narration periodically switching to the years during World War II,...
  • Claire Kittridge
    Shadow Child is a truly lovely work of literary fiction. A multi-generational tale that unfolds slowly and is told from alternating points of view, the writing is both sharp and lyrical; full of amazing images that really stick in my mind. An intense story of two sisters, their mother, and a history of WWII that is not often told, this book packs a serious emotional punch! Shadow Child makes the reader work and think, then rewards with beauty, tr...
  • Amina
    Jan 1: this book sounds interesting, I'll try itJan 2: so jealous my mom is in Hawaii right nowJan 3: email publisher to see if author could attend book club meetingJan 4: WTH happened in that cave? Guess I'll have to stay up late to find out!Beautiful writing, lush storytelling, this book engaged me right away.
  • Darren
    I won this as a ARC as part of a good reads giveaway. I enjoyed reading it. It is my first book by this author. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. I hope to read more books by this author.
  • Chaya Nebel
    This is the story of twin sisters, Hana and Kei, who have a complicated history and even more complicated present. It is also the story of their mother, Miya/ Lillie, whose disturbing and harrowing past never leaves her, hanging like a shadow over her life and the lives of her two young daughters. The story slowly uncovers Lillie's past, while at the same time diving into the sometimes confusing relationship between the two girls, and especially ...
  • David
    As Hanako Swanson returns to her New York City apartment building, she startles a man who does a double take upon seeing her. Her sparse rooms seem to have been torn apart, and lying bruised and unconscious in her bathtub is her estranged identical twin sister, Keiko. Rahna Reiko Rizzuto’s “Shadow Child” starts with a bang, and yet these events are among the more minor traumas endured by the three women whose interwoven narratives make up t...
  • Melinda
    I received an ARC through Goodreads.---This was an interesting read. The story is told through the perspectives of 4 different females and different time periods. There are twists and turns, making you question and wonder about the story you are being told. Kei and Hana are twins, who use to be close, but something happened 6 years ago that changed that and forced Hana to flee and never look back. But now Kei has come knocking, unfortunately some...
  • Jalyn Powell
    Rahna Reiko Rizzuto has an exceptional ability to write lyrical, lucid narratives with complex and engrossing characters. Shadow Child is about two identical twin sisters - Hana and Kei - who grew up in Hawaii with a troubled, yet loving mother. One is the "good" twin and the other a "rebel," but their bond is stronger for it - until something happens that causes Hana to flee her home and her family and live in New York City, essentially in hidin...
  • Sharon Velez Diodonet
    What a beautiful story! This is what I would call a jewel. Hana and Kei, mixed twins, share a special bond. They are so close they pretend to be one person at times. Their mom, Miya is plagued by memories from Hiroshima and never shares her secret traumas with anyone, including her fatherless daughters. Tortured by her past and constantly reliving her pain, Miya is labelled the town crazy lady and her daughters think she is sick. As the girls get...
  • Emily Green
    I received Shadow Child through GoodReads FirstReads in exchange for a fair review. Rahna Reiko Rizzuto weaves the stories of Lillie and twin girls as a way to explain how one of the daughters, Keiko, has ended up in an inexplicable coma, while Hanako is helpless to revive her or help find the perpetrator. The story slowly untangles, the significance of the mother’s past and the trauma the girls experienced during high school referenced early o...
  • Fran Hawthorne
    "Shadow Child" is a haunting, beautiful, and wonderfully plotted novel, from the very first page, when Hanako (a young, Japanese-American artist) barely shuts the door of her Manhattan apartment building on a would-be assailant. (Or does she?) Author Rahna Reiko Rizzuto manages to juggle four narrative strands, three narrators, and four different voices -- including the rarely used first-person plural "we" and second-person "you." It's a detectiv...
  • Jane
    Thanks to Goodreads and Grand Central Publishing.Interesting book. There is the story of Lillian/Miya in the 1940s in Japan, then the twins Hana(ko) and Kei(ko) and their interesting lives in Hawaii where their mother Lillian tells them stories about Lillian who she calls Miya. Ends up that Miya changed her name to Lillian when she left Japan. Her daughters never knew that and found a picture of a little boy who was her son who they never knew of...
  • Sassafras Lowrey
    "I am still afraid...My fear hasn't protected me. It has eaten me alive, literally poisoning me, and the question is: How long did I refuse to notice?" - Rahna Reiko Rizzuto "Shadow Child"I don't as a rule enjoy books that focus heavily on mother/daughter relationships and had i known that was going to be a key plot point I probably wouldn't have read. That said, I did enjoy reading the book, I especially liked the way that personal, national and...
  • Lizz Donnelly
    This is not a book to skim. This is a book to savor. Every bit of it is beautiful, even the parts that will make you cry. And reading about Lillie's experience in Hiroshima definitely made me cry. Shadow Child deftly weaves together three women's stories (although sometimes it can seem like more as they struggle to discover and rediscover who they actually are). What starts a little slowly builds and builds and by the end it will sweep you away l...
  • Jayne
    Received this ARC from Westwinds Bookshop, Duxbury, MAEnjoyed reading about Lillie’s life, internment and abduction/resettlement in Japan. Life in Hawaii portrays a less than flattering picture, again, interesting for going against the ‘tourist’ grain.Relationship between the twins in their early years was fascinating.I have to agree with previous reviewers that some of the darker issues could have been explained better. The book intimated ...
  • Kim McGee
    Identical twins Hana and Kei share everything as children especially trying to deal with their mentally ill mom. After a horrible accident Hana runs from Hawaii to New York where she tries to start a new life. Her sister after years of not seeing each other, suddenly shows up for a visit and something tragic happens. The story jumps from childhood to present day and it reads a bit like the madness and their unstable childhood. Just as the tide pu...
  • Luisa
    I won a copy of this book on goodreads in exchange for an honest review. I am not sure what I thought abut this book. I never got a good understanding of what made these characters tick, which is a shame as there was so much more potential there. I liked the fact it told the story from 3 different view points, and the historical aspect especially around the atomic bombs and Japan. I never grasped why Kei's friends targetted her sister Hana and ex...
  • Sara
    Reading this book is a little like trying to pick through a small broiled fish with chopsticks and weeding out bones to find tiny morsels of fish. It's not an easy path, it's confusing at times, and at times you won't be sure there is something to find at all. Kudos to the author for putting this story together (rather like reconstructing the fish, I imagine). There is a lot here to absorb, and a knowledge of internment, Hiroshima, and the Japane...
  •  wade
    This novel primarily involves a Japanese American mother and her two daughters. Mom's early years were during World War 2 and her family suffers through internment camps and then moves to Japan at the time of the nuclear bomb blasts. After the war is over she has two daughters along with an American G. I. husband she met during the occupation. The family moves back to the states but mom's mental stress has lasting effects both on her and the kids...
  • Eliece
    This was a difficult book to read. Not only did the chapters skip around in time and settings, but I couldn't always be sure who was speaking or thinking, especially the twins. It did hold my interest, and the questions I had were mostly answered by the end of the book. It took me longer to read than most books do, mainly because I had to decipher who was the narrator at each point, and what were they attempting to convey. Even though it was a di...
  • Tabby
    Objectively, I feel the book deserves 4 stars, but gr ratings are supposed to be based on your enjoyment, which was a 1 or 2 for me. I’ve read other books featuring mental illness, the aftermath of atomic bombs, self harm, abuse. I don’t know why I felt so repulsed by this one, but I did. It isn’t a bad book-it’s very good actually, but I hated it. This was an ARC I received in a giveaway. (Not via goodreads)
  • Jh1rn
    3.5 stars, compelling, complex novel told from 4 different perspectives. One perspective is a Japanese American women during WWII. I have read many novels from WWII but not from the Japanese side. It spans 30 years switching from the Japanese American, her two twin daughters from childhood to present. This book is not getting very good reviews as some think it is confusing or left too many loose ends, but I have to disagree this story is well don...
  • Ruth Youngberg
    I really felt compelled to keep reading this book. I thought it was very well written and that the story was skillfully interwoven between the perspectives of the mother and the twins. The mystery of what happened in the cave kept the story moving forward and the ending did not disappoint.
  • Irene
    This was a little interesting in the beginning but it became too convoluted, confusing and very depressing. It is much too wordy for me, like listening to someone who enjoys hearing themselves talk.Others may like it, but it's not for me.
  • Carson
    Mixed feelings on this one; Structure: fractured.Style: Is Rizzuto trying for magic realism?Mood: Claustrophobic.I’m always interested in third-culture perspectives on the world, so it’s a shame that this is irritating me so much
  • Jean Benedict
    This book was about twin sisters..It was a confusing story involving mental illness.The story went from the past and the future.Lillie the mother was in Japan when it was bombed.I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway