29
Thu, Feb

Fiction

Synopsis

Osaka Heat explores the personal, religious, and cultural challenges facing an Irish-American widow, Ginger O'Neill. Ginger is forced to confront the path her life has taken as she lobbies a prestigious Japanese academy to be sister school to her own. Her three-week mission is being followed not only by her school district but by the Washington Post and the Japanese embassy in Washington, D.C. Ginger, sole parent to her teenaged daughter, has spent the last twelve years—her widowhood—without romance; she claims there are no eligible men.

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Things don't go smoothly for Ginger in Osaka, as her visit elicits one cultural predicament after another, each crisis taking its toll not only on her personally but on her ability to win the school partnership. Ginger's relationship with her host family, as well as her forbidden romance with a Japanese man, presents her with a moral dilemma that will change her life. In Osaka Heat, social predicaments wreak havoc not only on Ms. O’Neill’s lesson plans but also on her carefully controlled emotions. Rich in literature, music, and cuisine, her life-changing journey will resonate with readers long after Ginger’s return flight lands her Stateside.
The multicultural aspects of Osaka Heat are brought out in the literature, music, and Japanese cuisine woven throughout the book. Mary Claire Mahaney was inspired to write Osaka Heat when she traveled to Japan as the chaperone for her son’s high school home-stay student exchange. She saw the cultural setting of a Japanese school as the perfect setting for a novel. Six years later she has an award-winning book.

Things don't go smoothly for Ginger in Osaka, as her visit elicits one cultural predicament after another, each crisis taking its toll not only on her personally but on her ability to win the school partnership. Ginger's relationship with her host family, as well as her forbidden romance with a Japanese man, presents her with a moral dilemma that will change her life. In Osaka Heat, social predicaments wreak havoc not only on Ms. O’Neill’s lesson plans but also on her carefully controlled emotions. Rich in literature, music, and cuisine, her life-changing journey will resonate with readers long after Ginger’s return flight lands her Stateside.

The multicultural aspects of Osaka Heat are brought out in the literature, music, and Japanese cuisine woven throughout the book. Mary Claire Mahaney was inspired to write Osaka Heat when she traveled to Japan as the chaperone for her son’s high school home-stay student exchange. She saw the cultural setting of a Japanese school as the perfect setting for a novel. Six years later she has an award-winning book.

 Author

maryclairemahaney.com

Mary Claire Mahaney has written fiction, poetry, art reviews, and essays, including columns for the Irish American News. Her debut novel, Osaka Heat, won the Silver Medal in the Multicultural Fiction Adult category for Independent Publisher’s 12th annual IPPY awards in May 2008. Osaka Heat was also recognized by ForeWord Magazine as a 2007 Book of the Year Finalist in the Literary Fiction category.

 

Mary Claire was born in Warren, Ohio, the fourth of four children. She attended parochial schools in Warren, graduating from John F. Kennedy High School. She received degrees from the College of Mount Saint Joseph (BA magna cum laude) and the University of Cincinnati College of Law (JD). Mary Claire has taught and practiced law and has been admitted to practice in Ohio, Michigan, and the District of Columbia. She and her husband have lived in McLean, Virginia, for the past 20 years, where Mary Claire has served on numerous school and community boards. In 1997 she was awarded the McLean Youth, Inc., Citizen of the Year Award for her community work. The couple has two adult sons.

 

 Reviews

 "What ensues is a journey of self-discovery, or rather of rediscovering who she [the protagonist] is….The book won me over. Mahaney does not speak Japanese, she is not an expert on things Japanese, but she narrated well the inner life of a woman whose moment of truth happens to take place in a Japanese setting. And that is more than enough."   The Japan Visitor

 

 

iBAM!

Irish American News

National Library of Ireland

American Irish Historical Society