In the Gion district of the ancient city of Kyoto, Japan, in 1890, there was a geisha house of significant note. What piece of history that transpired there sets the stage for the events that happen in The Necklace, a fascinating historical fiction written by Robert Valverde.
Twenty-one-year-old Roderick Stone journeys to Japan to run his father’s mill. He falls in love with fourteen-year-old Ichimitsu, an apprentice geisha who already has a patron, Kobayashi. Ichimitsu feels stifled by the rigid rules of the geisha house, envying Roderick’s free-spirited ways. She also feels confused by the strong feelings the young American arouses in her. Giving in to passion, she spends the night with him and he gives her the Stone family heirloom necklace as an engagement ring. However, Roderick has to return to America to tend to his dying father.
When Ichimitsu’s mother, Kimiko, finds out about her daughter’s deflowerment, she is furious. In her anger, she abandons Ichimitsu to live with her politically powerful, lustful uncle, Takeo Sato. Ichimitsu stabs Takeo when he attempts to steal the necklace. In retaliation, he sells her to a brothel. Greedy Kimiko convinces disfigured, frail, conflicted Hanako, Ichimitsu’s twin sister, to take Ichimitsu’s place. When Roderick returns, he marries Hanako. Will Roderick discover the truth about “Ichimitsu” or will he fall for the kind Hanako? Readers can find out as they follow the riveting tale of The Necklace.