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Leigh Becker has been left in an uncomfortable situation by her mother. Her stepfather is out of work and growing steadily more depressed. His behavior becomes more and more deluded, uncontrolled and focused entirely on Leigh as her mother is busily avoiding the situation by working away from home. Leigh deals with him as well as she can, but when her stepfather's attentions become sexual, she has to turn to her friends for help.
Andy Tanaka, one of her best friends, is unaware of what is happening to Leigh, but has a mystery of his own to solve. When he finds an old chest containing samurai swords and a letter from one of his ancestors, he tries to return it to its rightful owner, his grandfather.
Leigh and Andy work together to convince Andy's grandfather that he possess the qualities of a bushido samurai and is worthy of the legacy. In doing so, they realize their feelings for each other and Andy's own samurai qualities are revealed.
I really enjoyed reading The Legacy. The characters were very modern and believable, yet within the story, they connect to the ancient traditions of bushido. The narrative and conclusion were uplifting and full of hope and affirmation. I really enjoyed the shy unassuming character of Andy and his close connection to his family. Patricia Kiyono has a talent for making her characters likable, even when they are being disagreeable or acting in ways that would usually be despicable. Even Leigh's stepfather; despite his shocking and unacceptable behavior; is given a chance for a new life. Although Leigh could surely have had the man arrested, all she asks is that her mother get help for him. I would recommend this novel to everyone; it is an enthralling short read that does not disappoint the reader.
Reviewed by: Stephanie E.