This second novel draws its electric energy from the havoc of a great typhoon as it bears down on a small orphanage in the Japanese coastal city of Kobe.
English doctor Eva Kraig has spent her life making a home for abandoned children. Twenty years ago she herself has adopted the illegitimate, half-American daughter of Kyo, an orphan who had grown up in the home and had then turned to prostitution. Now Eva may lose her beloved Akiko, for Kyo — ravaged by time and drink — has returned to claim her grown daughter in the hope that Akiko will support her.
As the winds intensify, so do the private struggles of the characters. When the storm abruptly switches course, trapping everyone inside the orphanage, Akiko finds herself stranded with her adoptive mother, the natural mother she has never known and a trouble young American who has fallen in love with her.
In the brief calm of the typhoon’s eye, the group leaves the battered orphanage to guide the staff and children to the comparative safety of a wealthy English couple’s concrete house. There they must wait out the violence of the last quadrant — the wildest part of the storm.
As the refugees draw together in a fight for survival, their perceptions of themselves and each other take on new dimensions — and the terrible night becomes a turning point for each of them.