In this debut novel from acclaimed Booker Prize-winning Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go), post-war Japan serves as the haunting backdrop to a subtle story of memory, suicide, and psychological trauma. Etsuko lives alone in rural England, trying to come to terms with the recent suicide of her daughter, Keiko. A visit from her other daughter Niki sends Etsuko retreating into the depths of her memory. She finds herself reliving one particular hot summer in Nagasaki, when she and her friends struggled to rebuild their lives after the horrors of the bomb and World War Two. But when her thoughts turn to her strange friendship with Sachiko and Sachiko's daughter Mariko, the memories begin to take on a disturbing cast. As Etsuko examines her relationship with her daughters and struggles to cope with her guilt, the lines between the past and the present - between Etsuko's own daughter and Mariko, between reality and recollection - start to blur.