U.N. Human Resources Officer Mark Graham Sanders find his life turned inside out when a chance encounter reunites him with his friend, fellow U.N. colleague, Hans, and Hans’ beautiful, enigmatic wife, Yukari. Mark enters into this triangular friendship convinced that, although attracted to Yukari, he can maintain an appropriate emotional distance and still enjoy the deepening bonds of the trio’s relationship.
As the three friends grow closer, they discover their bond goes back several generations through their descendants, prompting Yukari to claim that destiny has brought them together. In tribute to this almost magical connection, the two men steal out to plant a rare variety of blue roses in the U.N. garden in Yukari’s honor.
In the meantime without warning, Yukari’s world is shattered when she learns of her husband’s infidelity. With a calm resolve, she takes Mark into her confidence, revealing her plan to divorce Hans. Mark’s loyalty to Hans pushes him to help the couple reconcile, and when Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’ child, peace seems to return. But the quiet grace and gossamer vulnerability surrounding Yukari draws Mark in, like a moth to a bonfire. And when Hans’ quest for “meaning” in his life takes him to another continent, leaving Mark to care for Yukari during her pregnancy, tragedy beckons.
Set in the rich cultural backdrop of New York City, author Yorker Keith uses precise language and an insightful first-person narrative to explore the myriad facets of complex emotional relationships. A struggle of personal integrity allows his main character, Mark, to develop deeper levels of human understanding, to accept his own imperfections and rediscover himself while Han’s crisis of conscience forces him into a position of atonement. Yukari, like Madame Butterfly, spans the entire range of tragic, elegant love.
Yorker Keith’s Remembrance of Blue Roses is a slow-burning, passionate literary novel that speaks to the romantic in all of us.