The cover of the new novel features two of Japan's best-loved flowers: cherry blossoms (sakura, in the background) and a chrysanthemum (kiku, in the black-and-white photo).
Every fall, kiku festivals draw crowds in different parts of Japan and in the US as well (New York, Oregon, Ohio, Connecticut, North Carolina, and lots of places in between).
It's not just the colors and masses of blooms that please the eye. Many mum festivals feature elaborate mum "sculptures" created by training the flowers to grow around wire shapes or weaving mums into frames.
What's the backstory of this cover photo showing a pretty young lady next to a pretty kiku bloom? All I can say is the photo plays a pivotal role in the plot! - MBW