Fifty Words For Rain

Fifty Words For Rain

Since I’ve been sick with Covid this past week I took advantage of the bed rest and finished reading the novel “Fifty Words For Rain,” by Asha Lemmie. “Fifty Words For Rain,” takes place in post war Japan. Norkio “Nori”  Kamiza is the illegitimate daughter of a Japanese aristocratic woman and an African America soldier. Nori is abandoned by her mother to her grandparents where Nori is subjected to abuse and the chemical baths that would “lighten her skin”. Nori’s grandmother is very racist and set in her ways of tradition despite Japanese society changing. One day Nori’s half-brother Akira arrives and everything for her starts to change.  



I love the setting of Japan and I like Noriko “Nori” as a main character. I also like Noriko’s lady servant Akiko and her English friend Emma. I liked Akira despite how annoyingly serious he could be at times. I also liked seeing Nori read her mother’s journal entries revealing the woman she didn’t know. The book talks about Japans unfortunate racist past against mixed raced children. It almost reminded me of the novel “The Woman in the White Kimono,” by Ana Johns that covers this same topic.




I will say that the story sometimes meanders on and on at times and I felt that when Nori’s grandmother was telling her about that one characters death it seemed too unrealistic that it wasn’t an accident but a planned assassination. I’m thinking to myself, “Okay novel you’re a little out there.” I also felt the ending was rushed and not very realistic after everything Nori went through. I also wanted to know what happened to Nori’s mother. We don’t know if she’s alive or dead and why she would ever leave Nori with her grandmother in the first place. Nori’s mother knew how cruel and controlling her parents were. Then again I would think being a single mother in 1950s Japan would have had to have been tough.



Overall “Fifty Words For Rain,” was beautifully written with some amazing plots. I wouldn’t say it was the best novel in the world, but if you’re into historical fiction its worth checking out.