Picture Bride – A Family Saga

Picture Bride – A Family Saga

Historical Fiction by Michael G. Malaghan

Editor’s note: We continue Michael G. Malaghan’s serialized historical novel, “Picture Bride — A Family Saga,” based on the Japanese immigrant experience. Malaghan’s trilogy takes readers from turn-of-the-20th-century-Japan to Hawai‘i in the picture bride era; the Islands during World War II, highlighted by the exploits of the Nisei soldiers; and beyond.

The novel, which is now available as a printed softcover book, opens with 12-year-old Haru-chan, fleeing her home in Amakusa, Kyüshü, for Hiroshima, where she becomes the picture bride of a Buddhist priest in Hawai‘i.

Author Michael Malaghan is a retired businessman who divides his time between Hawai‘i, Florida and Japan.

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Cool midnight breezes swept through half-open louvers, bouncing curtains throughout the tranquil Takayama household. Baby Kenta slept peacefully in the bassinet next to Haru’s and Kenji’s bed. The family was at peace. A golden time. The language school quarrel that had triggered Haru’s night flight to Ume’s home, the miscarriage prompting the baby switch, and Kenji’s unacknowledged fall from grace with Ko had all mysteriously fostered a more caring or, perhaps, some would say, a more careful relationship. Something precious almost lost is guarded even more securely going forward. Haru had convinced herself that her secret made her a better wife and mother since she worked harder to compensate for the deceit, even though she often reminded herself that everyone benefited from Ume’s ploy.

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As a new retiree who was free to dream, Michael G. Malaghan attended a Maui Writers Conference presentation on historical novels. It left him with a deep desire to meld his interests in history and writing. After attending the premiere of historian Tom Coffman’s 2007 documentary, “The First Battle,” which detailed how Hawai‘i’s Japanese community avoided mass internment by preparing for that expected consequence three years before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Mike decided to tell the entire Japanese immigrant experience in historical novel form. His trilogy will take readers from turn-of-the-20th-century-Japan to Hawai‘i in the picture bride era; the Islands during the World War II, highlighted by the exploits of the Nisei soldiers; and beyond. Mike was born in the Midwest and raised in Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida and volunteered for the Peace Corps after college. In his business life he was president of a Walt Disney licensee, marketing English language learning materials in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. Mike and his wife Tomoko, a native of Tochigi Prefecture, are worldwide travelers and adventurers. They split their time between homes in Waikiki and Winter Park, Fla., and also spend nearly a month every year visiting with Tomoko’s parents in Japan, where Mike also conducts workshops for his former company.

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