Giveaway: The Secret of the Nightingale Palace by Dana Sachs

I’ve got a treat for those readers who adore fiction set in the 1940s and deal with family secrets.  The Secret of the Nightingale Palace by Dana Sachs is earning early praise from the Romantic Times Book Review, which said:

Sachs’ latest is so beautiful in every aspect that readers will have difficulty pinpointing the best parts. Rich in San Francisco history with brilliant characters you’ll warm up to, the two different story lines will enrapture you as well. Both women’s romances will have readers blushing and rooting for love to prosper. Elegant and tasteful, this novel is not to be missed.

What intrigues me about this book is that it is told in flashbacks, which can be tricky for writers.  And Dana Sachs’ novel is based on some true events from her own history as a Jewish American, and the inspiration for Goldie comes from her own centenarian grandmother.

Here’s a bit about the book:

Anna, a 35-year-old woman struggling to cope with the recent loss of her husband and desperately trying to get out of an emotional rut, receives an odd call one day from her estranged and feisty 85-year-old grandmother, Goldie Rosenthal. When Goldie invites Anna to accompany her on a trip across the country to return a collection of Japanese artwork to its original owner, a mysterious friend in San Francisco, Anna decides to put their differences aside and join the adventure. Goldie, however, is not upfront with Anna about the reason for the trip or the background of the artwork, and keeps these secrets to herself.

Through flashbacks to Goldie’s young adulthood as a Jewish American in San Francisco during the 1940s, readers are introduced to the Nakamura family. Goldie and Mayumi Nakamura work together at Feld’s, a luxury department store, and quickly become close friends. It’s not long before Goldie meets Mayumi’s sophisticated and outspoken brother, Henry, that the siblings introduce Goldie to a world of art, fashion, and culture that she had never imagined existed. Those joys evaporate, however, when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. The attack puts the Nakamuras on the other side of an unbridgeable chasm of racism and paranoia that leads to their expulsion from San Francisco and subsequent internment in remote camps far from the coast. Just as her granddaughter Anna will have to find a way to leave heartbreak behind sixty years later, Goldie must learn to move on.

Booklist has said: “As with most well-crafted literary journeys, it’s not really about the destination, but this one does feature a sweetly surprising, cinematically styled twist at the end of the road. An ideal recommendation for the book-club set.”

Also, feel free to check out some of the reviews from the TLC Book Tours.

If these early responses and the book description have piqued your interest, please leave a comment below before Feb. 23, 2013, at 11:59 PM EST.  Must be a U.S. resident with a U.S. address to enter for 1 copy.


  1. I really appreciate when flashbacks are done effectively in a novel.

  2. I’m very interested in the theme of Jewish Americans and also think Goldie sounds like a bit of a character and I hope for Anna’s sake she can distract her from her grief a bit. The setting is great, too and I hope to read some fascinating tidbits about San Fran as well as learn about its beauty. The weaving together of the themes of Japan and the Japanese culture, Jewish Americans, Pearl Harbor and life in SF is too exciting too pass up.

    Thank you for offering a giveaway of this book.

  3. Although I don’t usually read romances, the setting and the time period are of interest to me, and I like novels told in flashback.

  4. thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story 😉

  5. Anita Yancey says

    This book sounds good to me. I would love to read more about Anna and Goldie’s story. The history in the book sounds wonderful, and I’d like to know what Goldie’s secrets are.

  6. Fascinating era. Like DarcyO, found “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” riveting and hope The Secret of the Nightingale Palace is as enchanting. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. The story sounds quite interesting! Definitely going on my TBR list – would love to win it! Thanks!

  8. While the history involved in this book is very interesting, I’m also intrigued by the fact that it is told in flashbacks. Not something that’s seen too often, at least to a great extent.

  9. Flashback are tricky but if done well, I really enjoy how they move you from point A to point B.

  10. Great story that I would enjoy very much. Thanks for this fabulous introduction.

  11. I would love to win and read this book. I think Japanese Art is delicate and beautiful. I also like two stories intertwing.

  12. Thanks for this wonderful book set during a period that I find fascinating and enthralling.

  13. I’m not sure about the romance aspects, but I keep reading good reviews of this book so I’d like to be entered. Thanks!

  14. This novel sounds captivating and special. Thanks. My favorite era for wonderful novels.

  15. I love this era, too. Flashbacks, done well, are one of my favorite devices. Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. I loved “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” and this sounds like it may be similar. I’d love to read this one, too. Thanks for the chance.

  17. I’m reading it now and it’s really good so far. No need to enter me.

  18. My interest is definitely piqued. I love novels with a WWII setting, and I’m intriqued by the Japanese-American aspect. Thanks for the giveaway.