Published on 18th April, 2024

‘…succeeds better than any book I know in capturing this mysterious affinity (between Auschwitz and the Nagasaki atomic bombing)’ The book ‘leaves behind it a moving glow of human connectedness…’

Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times  

‘One of the most moving true stories I have ever read, touching on all human emotions, strengths and weaknesses. Its mixture of happiness and sorrow, hope and horror played havoc with my spirits and brought many a tear to my eyes.’

Roy Lancaster, eminent horticulturist

‘In this beautiful chronicle stretching across a whole century and between continents, Naoko Abe reminds us of how human interconnections and inspirations help us rise above the terrors and divisions of war.’

Bill Emmott, former editor-in-chief of The Economist and chairman of the Japan Society of the UK

‘Abe argues convincingly that Kolbe’s Japanese interlude taught him the empathy that was decisive at Auschwitz, and her virtues as a stylist shine in the details of his Nagasaki mission. Throughout, her tone balances this impartiality and vividness.’

Rupert Cabbell-Manners, The Telegraph

‘This is not just a tale of trees, but of …..endeavour, war and reconciliation’

The Sunday Times, Books of the Year  

‘ A remarkable book ….A treat for gardeners and historians’

Robin Lane Fox, The Financial Times

‘A portrait of great charm and sophistication…You won’t look at cherry blossoms the same way again’

Christopher Harding, The Guardian   

About Naoko

Naoko Abe is a Japanese journalist and non-fiction writer. She was the first female political writer to cover the prime minister’s office, the foreign ministry and the defence ministry at Mainichi Shimbun, one of Japan’s largest newspapers. Since moving to London with her British husband ad their two boys in 2001, she has worked as a freelance writer and has published five books in Japanese. Her biography of Collingwood Ingram in Japanese won the prestigious Nihon Essayist Club Award in 2016.

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