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 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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 Synopsis

Twenty-six-year-old Dubliner Emma has it all: a teaching job, good friends and childhood sweetheart John by her side. When John dies in an accident, she must face life alone. Haunted by what could have been and blaming herself, Emma retreats into a grief from which only her friends—successful ad-woman Clodagh, gadabout editor Seán, newlyweds Anne and Richard and her priest brother, Noel—can rouse her. A cat arrives unbidden on her windowsill, harbinger of the unbelievable string of events (pregnancy scares, a tryst with a Parisian rapper and saving a woman from a rape in a dark alley) that restores Emma's will to live. The mix of light farce and heavy drama knocks the book off balance, though, leaving readers unsure whether they should pity or envy Emma as she traipses her way to a neat, happy ending.

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