Amaterasu Takahashi’s daughter and grandson died in the bombing of Nagasaki, and all she has left are photographs and her daughters diary that Ama has never read. Ama wants to forget so she moved to America and has spent the last forty years trying to numb the pain until a man claims that he is her grandson. He seems sincere, but Ama thinks he is mistaken though the seeds of doubt about her grandson’s death have been planted.
Trying to discover if the man is her grandson forces Ama to remember and face the memories that she has tried so hard to forget. She reads her daughters diary and the memories about that fateful day and the years that led up to it come flowing back, but it is not without pain of not only the loss, but of guilt and remorse. A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton is an emotionally charged novel about the complexities of the human heart and a life full of secrets and denials.