Reiko, is an adorable—socially isolated—smart, feisty 16-year-old that had collided with life after she learned that her mother, a Japanese Naval Intelligence agent, had been killed in the line of duty (actually kidnapped by the Koreans). Her American father, Head of U.S. Naval Intelligence, married a burakumin (from an “untouchable” heritage) cleaning lady from base. Red fell into utter despair and social isolation. She feels mocked at her International American School in Tokyo and at home by her old fashioned and very rigid stepmother. She meets Keiko when she is 12 and begins her slow process of healing. When the story begins, she is 16 and her only friends are a wounded bird and a beetle. When she meets Nick, she begins a fast path to personal empowerment.

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