San Francisco’s Golden Gate International Exposition, Treasure Island, 1939
AS THE MARCH OF BOOTS ECHOES FROM OVERSEAS, all nations that border the Pacific and beyond are invited to build pavilions on Treasure Island at the Golden Gate International Exhibition. Dedicated to the pursuit of world peace and brotherhood, the Exposition celebrated San Francisco’s prominence as the “Gateway to the Pacific.”
Lily Nordby, young, brash, and headstrong, lands a job at the Examiner, a Hearst newspaper. Given a once in a life time assignment to cover the Exposition on Treasure Island, she meets Tokido Okumura, the host of the Japanese Pavilion. While highly suspicious of his true purpose on the island, she’s swept up in a whirlwind of powerful emotions that lead her into unknown territory.
Tokido Okumura is charged not only with presenting the beauty and refinement of modern Japanese culture, but a mission that requires secrecy and stealth. When he falls into a forbidden love affair with Lily, his loyalty to his country and honor are compromised. Receiving orders to intensify his mission, he faces the decision of his life.
Brilliant and enigmatic Woodrow Packard, a Mayan art scholar at the Expo, prefers remaining aloof and alone. But his infatuation and deepening relationship with Lily thrusts him into the limelight. He asks himself, could someone as smart and beautiful as she is return the love of a man who is a dwarf? In an attempt to prevent Lily from spiraling into danger, Woodrow intercedes to help her uncover family secrets. When fate intervenes, they are both pulled into a destiny they could never have imagined.
At the heart of this historical novel is the magical and exotic Golden Gate International Exposition. Mixing fact and fiction with a dash of noir, Beautiful Illusion is a story of love and deception that explores what happens when human hearts collide as the world is plotting war.