When a badly scarred man knocks on the door of Amaterasu Takahashi’s retirement home near Philadelphia and says that he is her grandson, she doesn't believe him.
She knows her grandson and her daughter died on the day the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. She searched the ruined city for weeks. They vanished.
But the arrival of the stranger forces her to relive her memories of 9 August, 1945, the hurt and humiliation that came before, and the pain and guilt that followed.
A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding is about grief, regret and forgiveness as one woman searches for peace in the wreckage of her life.