Born in Tokyo, Japan, Mariko Tatsumoto arrived in America at the age of eight. Once she learned English, she fell in love with books. She always wanted to be a writer but first became the first Asian woman lawyer in Colorado. She finally found her way and writes in a small town in the mountains of Colorado with her husband and dogs.
In 1863, when Aritomo Genji, a twelve-year-old heir to a samurai lord, and his dog, Tama, are rescued from a shipwreck and must live with the enemy about to crush his clan, he becomes friends with the enemy’s daughter and must choose between the two families.
In 1959 when her mother dies, twelve-year-old Ayumi leaves her home in Japan to find her American father. Biracial, she is confronted with a resentful half-sister and a racist stepmother. She wants to be accepted by her new family, but how much of her true self must she give up? Ayumi’s only solace is her music. When she is deprived of her violin, she shocks even herself by doing the unthinkable.