World War II and the turn of the 21st century are the settings for Paul Mark Tag’s “How Much Do You Love Me?” No, the novel doesn’t involve time travel, at least not in the science fiction sense.
After today’s sneak peek at the book, there’ll only be one more coming, so read up!
“How Much Do You Love Me?” will be released on Aug. 12.
From the author: “How Much Do You Love Me?” takes place in two time periods, in World War II and in the year 2000. The following extract initiates the sequence that occurs in 2000. This scene takes place in a hospital room where Keiko, the protagonist from World War II, lies in a coma while her daughter, Kazuko, and her son, Patrick, stand by. This scene sparks the mystery that pervades until book’s end.
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula
Wednesday afternoon, October 25, 2000
“Do you think she can hear us?” This was the voice of Kazuko Armstrong, Keiko’s daughter. Since a stroke three days earlier, Keiko had been in a coma.
Keiko’s son, Patrick Armstrong, responded. “I asked the doctor, and he said no. He says she senses nothing.” Keiko heard her son sigh. “It doesn’t look good. The doctor says that the longer she stays like this, the worse her chances of recovery.”
Keiko couldn’t open her eyes, move her body, or respond in any way. Still, her mind functioned, and she heard and understood what her two children were saying. It didn’t bother her that she couldn’t communicate or that her hours were numbered. Keiko had come to terms with what had happened and was ready to join her ancestors.
Keiko’s life had been a full one. A good husband, two fine children, and enough creature comforts along the way to make life enjoyable. It was only in the beginning that fate had hit her hard, and not in a good way. She had hidden that portion of her life from her children. Even in her own mind, she had compartmentalized much of what had happened. After the war, few Japanese wanted to discuss the internment—partially due to their culture but also because of their shame at what the government had done to them.
For those reasons alone, Keiko had chosen to forget and move on. Her parents, Isamu and Akemi Tanaka, had proved less resilient. The disgrace of the internment experience overshadowed the rest of their lives. But for Keiko, there was another reason why she chose to forget that terrible period. And that was a secret she vowed to carry to the grave.