The Scent of Sake – Joyce Lebra
She was taught to submit, to obey . . . but she dreamed of an empire.
The sole heir to the House of Omura, a venerable family of Kobe sake brewers, nineteen-year-old Rie hears but cannot heed her mother’s advice: that in nineteenth-century Japan, a woman must “kill the self” or her life will be too difficult to bear. In this strict, male-dominated society, women may not even enter the brewery and repressive tradition demands that Rie turn over her family’s business to the inept philanderer she’s been forced to marry. She is even expected to raise her husband’s children by another woman a geisha so that they can eventually run the Omura enterprise.
But Rie’s pride will not allow her to relinquish what is rightfully hers. With courage, cunning, brilliance, and skill, she is ready to confront every threat that arises before her, from prejudice to treachery to shipwrecks to the insidious schemes of relentless rivals in her bold determination to forge a magnificent dynasty…and to, impossibly, succeed.