Reviews and advance praise:
"[Picking Bones from Ash], so firmly anchored in a sensuous reality, veers into a dream world. A reader has the sense that even the author was driven by her most powerful character: the original mother, raising her daughter alone, shunned by villagers, forced to make decisions that haunt her descendants." —L.A. TIMES full review
"In this ambitious debut... Mockett succeeds where many others fail: making the reader care." —PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY
"Solid and graceful... Mockett combines the best elements of a mystery story, ghost story, magical realism and the complex difficulties in deciding what is 'best' for our elders and offspring." —MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL STAR TRIBUNE full review
"Mockett presents a well-written and notable story of three generations of strong-willed women, each in search of something just out of their grasp; the sacrifices they make for their daughters; and the unseen repercussions of choices made long ago." —BOOKLIST
"A book of intelligence and heart. As Mockett reveals, the ghosts of our mothers are always within us." —AMY TAN
"Deeply preoccupied with girls, talent, and power."—MAUD NEWTON
"A voice so authentic and eloquent it is hard to believe this is Mockett's first novel." —LARGEHEARTED BOY
"Picking Bones from Ash drew me in from the first sentence." —THE FEMINIST REVIEW
"Picking Bones from Ash takes the reader down a rabbit-hole as matter-of-factly supernatural as that of Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. This wiry and delicate novel, as grounded as it is surreal, goes down like a tall glass of water. Except it’s spiked: like Rumi, the younger of Mockett’s two heroines, you will be haunted until you finish this book."
– ELLIS AVERY
"[A] poignant debut novel. . . .Amidst greediness, rationalism and misguided hope, [Mockett] beautifully illustrates the fervent presence of ancient and recent pasts."—POP DAMAGE
"I don't know when I last read a novel with two such captivating heroines as Marie Mutsuki Mockett conjures up in her intricate and absorbing novel Picking Bones From Ash. Like Satomi and Rumi, Mockett is 'fiercely, inarguably and masterfully talented.' An immensely satisfying debut."
— MARGOT LIVESY
"Picking Bones from Ash beautifully interweaves the stories of three women with their own individual strengths. I definitely recommend you take this unique journey through these womens' lives." —THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS
"Marie Mockett is a remarkably engaging writer who manages to pull her audience into the protagonists' worlds from her first sentence. Her evocative descriptions of Japan conjure up images of a geography and culture rarely experienced by Westerners. . . that linger in the mind long after the reader has turned the final page." —THE F WORD (UK)
“Remarkable and arresting, this debut has the pleasures of a fairy tale and a novel at the same time. Mockett probes the family mythology of a very peculiar line of talented Japanese women who may or may not be descended from the Princess of the Moon, and spins the tale of how they survived post-war Japan, modernity and life in America. A spellbinding new talent.” — ALEXANDER CHEE
"Beautifully written... Fusing imagination and a touch of the supernatural with suspense, Marie Mutsuki Mockett has created story that is difficult to set aside and a cast of characters who linger in the mind." —THE CALIFORNIAN full review
"Mockett herself displays the elusive talents that her female characters wield as a talisman against reality."—JAPAN TIMES
"In her richly imagined debut novel, Marie Mutsuki Mockett writes of three generations of mothers and daughters who are bound by their 'inherited history,' one filled with the struggles and ghosts of the past. Steeped in the culture and traditions of Japan, Picking Bones from Ash is a captivating read from a striking new talent." —GAIL TSUKIYAMA
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