(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The Dream of Water is Kyoko Mori's sequel to her first novel, Shizuko's Daughter. This second book is a memoir of her true experience of returning to Japan after living in America for twenty years and building a new life as an adult. Like Yuki in Shizuko's Daughter, Kyoko had a tortured childhood and was forced into living her young life with her cold and cruel father and his new wife. The death of Kyoko's mother was a devastating loss; Kyoko was only twelve years old at the time and she suffered the loss of the most important relationship in her life. Like Shizuko, Kyoko's mother, Takako, committed suicide, unable to continue living a life of misery and helpless to move out of the circumstances that she felt bound her to a futile existence. Shizuko's Daughter is an autobiographical novel chronicling the time of Yuki's youth, the time when she lived in Japan and the experiences that led her to abandon her culture and leave the country. The Dream of Water chronicles Kyoko's life during that time, but in flashback, told from Kyoko's perspective after surviving those years and succeeding in building for herself a happy, productive life. By 1990, at the start of the story, Kyoko has married, become a naturalized American citizen, and established a life for herself in Wisconsin as an English professor and a teacher of creative writing. She returns to Japan to retrace the path she took to get where she is today and to try to come to terms...

(The entire section is 263 words.)