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An incredible story of one woman's experience of racism and wartime politics across two different countries

IVA is the incredible story of Iva Toguri, a Japanese American woman whose life was changed irrevocably by World War II. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Iva was sent to visit her mother’s family in Japan, but the attack on Pearl Harbour forced her to stay in a country intensely loyal to its emperor and extremely distrustful of Americans. Stuck between two cultures, Iva was forced to battle racism and punishing politics in terrible conditions. Iva remained loyal to her birth country at great personal cost, but when the war ended, she was not welcomed back to the USA with open arms. Instead she was prosecuted for treason after being wrongfully named as Tokyo Rose the radio broadcaster, and accused of propaganda against the USA.

Based closely on real events, Mike Weedall has produced an inspiring story that encapsulates historic events and touches on topics that are still prevalent today. The effect of the war is felt by every character in some way, whether in Japan or the USA, and the depiction of such horrific hardships is emotionally stirring. The writing is simple and often repetitive, with Weedall spelling things out at length, from Iva’s thoughts to the happening events. This over-telling (potentially to keep true to the real-life story) somewhat diminishes the impact of the story – sharp descriptions and clever plot devices could have packed a much fiercer punch.

However, there is no doubt that it’s a fascinating story, made all the more extraordinary by the fact that it’s almost completely true. The unique perspective of an American woman in wartime Japan presents a side of historical fiction that isn’t as widely read, but is absolutely as important to convey. A brilliant read for lovers of the genre and anyone with a taste for embellished biographies.  

Reviewed by

I'm a copywriter by trade, but have never managed to make the jump to writing fiction - my imagination has always let me down in the fiction writing department. Instead I offer my skills in the form of editing, which I’ve done for several friends who are currently writing novels - and reviewing.


About the author

With his first work of historical fiction, Mike returns to his love of exploring real-life stories that reflect American culture. Years of researching the tragic events of Iva Toguri provides the perspective that today’s American politics are not all that new. Mike resides in Portland, Oregon. view profile

Published on May 07, 2020

Published by Luminare Press

70000 words

Genre: Historical Fiction

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