Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
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Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,070 ratings  ·  258 reviews
From the bestselling author of Letters from Home comes a poignant novel of love and courage, set against one of the most controversial episodes in American history: the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo.

Paperback, 420 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Kensington Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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Kristina McMorris
Oct 28, 2011 Kristina McMorris added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm so excited to share this book with all of you! As the daughter of a Japanese immigrant father and Caucasian American mother, I was raised living between cultures, not until later in life understanding where I fit in.

It is this search for identity that I infused into a love story complicated by WWII, a tragic time when friends were labeled enemies overnight. I hope you enjoy following the characters' journeys as much as I did exploring them!
WWII, Japanese internment, music, and love.

Maddie Kern has it all at the beginning of this novel, a best friend, a great job, and her future at Juilliard secured for her by a benefactress for violin. She also has Lane, her brother's best friend, who she has fallen in love with. Her brother, TJ, comes back from USC, and finds out about their hidden affair, and then Pearl Harbor happens...

Before Maddie knows what to do, her life is torn away from her and her family. Lane and his family get shipped...more
Erika Robuck
In November of 1941, in Los Angeles, California, violinist Maggie Kern is hiding something from her brother, TJ. She is in love with his best friend, Lane, who happens to be Japanese. TJ has always been protective of his little sister, especially since an accident that took their mother’s life and their father’s mental health, and he wouldn’t approve of the relationship.

In order to force their families to accept their love for each other, Maggie and Lane elope, but their days of wedded bliss are...more
❖/June 22, 2012:

I-i-iii I'm in a glass case of emotion!


Let's scratch the synopsis part. Please just look up the synopsis yourself before reading this review. *WARNING: YOU HAVE ENTERED THE ZONE OF A 14-YEAR-OLD FANGIRLING*

Ahhhhh~so the blurb says "Lane risks everything to prove his allegiance to America, at tremendous cost"....well, that TREMENDOUS COST is definitely a tremendous one (not going to spoiler).

Before I began reading Bridge of Scarlet Leaves , I didn't expect i...more
From my blog.

Maddie Kern is a budding violinist with dreams of attending Julliard. Her brother, TJ, has his own dreams of playing baseball. At the opening of the novel, they are both still reeling from the loss of their mother in a car accident and the subsequent catatonic state of their father. TJ is very angry at his father as he feels he is to blame for the accident; however, Maddie continues to visit her dad in the nursing home, playing the violin for him with little to no reaction.

When she...more
**Review Copy Provided By Author**

I have to admit that I finished this book up over the weekend, but it took me a couple of days to write the review because I wanted to think though some of my feelings. After Letters From Home, I wasn't sure if Kristina could follow up with an equally powerful second book, so I was surprised when Bridge of Scarlet Leaves not only equalled by exceeded Letters from Home.

In a similar fashion to the writing style in Letters from Home, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves tells...more
Amy Lignor
As she did with Letters From Home, Kristina McMorris has once again written a story of passion, trials, friendship, family and beauty that will stay with the reader for a very long time to come.

Maddie Kern is a good girl. This nineteen-year-old has been through a lot of stress, losing her mother and having her father holed up in an institution because he simply refuses to speak to anyone - wrapped up in a past that he simply can’t escape from. Maddie’s biggest goal in life is to play her violin...more
Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is a story with a wonderful blend of love, loss, forgiveness and self-realization. It became much more than a war love story. The bombing of Pearl Harbor signalled the beginning of a war that would have a significant effect on the relationship of Maddie Kern, an American and Lane Moritomo, a Japanese-American. Their struggles are not just against their society, their country but from within as well. Family, tradition and race are barriers that they will have to face.

First thoughts after finishing: The author broke my heart.....

I am always grateful to authors when something they crafted with love touches me on such a deeply emotional level. This book pulled me in from the first chapter and I couldn't bear parting with the characters when the story ended. I have to say that I found this story thought provoking, often stopping to tell my husband what was occurring because I would get so upset over some of the actions of Americans toward Japanese Americans. I c...more
Therese Walsh
This book is a true journey -- back to the WWII era and into the lives of a racially mixed couple (Japanese male, white female) and their families before and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Kristina McMorris is truly gifted at creating a sense of place and culture, down to the smallest -- which are sometimes the most significant -- details. Characters are believable, and I came to truly care for them as they grew despite adversity. This story will stay with you, and seems perfect for book clu...more
My only disappointment is that I've read the only two books she has out! So sad there aren't anymore for me to read right now! She's brilliant, she's researched this time period and her love of this romantic time period shines through in the details. Details that don't once become boring. I didn't ever skip through any of the book. Love this Author!
Tara Chevrestt
I found this story well-written and surprisingly, unpredictable. I was surprised because it was nothing like the many Japanese-internment-during-WWII stories I've read thus far and I've read quite a few. I feared it would be a regurgitated tale that I'd already read, but first of all, the combination of a Japanese man with a Caucasian woman was unique, as was the story of the heroine learning her husband's culture, the sideline of her brother dealing with his hatred issues, and the shocking twis...more
Vaughn Roycroft
Characters Worth Caring About:

It would’ve been easy for any author to lose sight of the importance of characters when dealing with a setting so monumental as World War II, and plot elements such as interracial relationships and the internment of Japanese-Americans during the war. These are topics that would’ve consumed the focus of many a fine writer. The temptation would be to use a broad brush, to put the readers’ wide-lens focus on the issues, and the result would often be to have wooden char...more
Fans of Kristina McMorris' debut, Letters From Home, will not be disappointed with her new novel. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves casts that same vintage spell, whirling you back to a moment in history so full and vivid it is hard to believe it was over a lifetime ago. The infusion of Japanese heritage only adds to the authenticity of the story. Hard to put down and easy to pick up again, this novel is one to remember.

More than chronicling three small-town lives, that of Maddie Kern, her brother, TJ, a...more
Apr 16, 2012 Janelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who liked Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
Shelves: 2012, favorites
Fantastic! I love a book that can teach me something about history while maintaining an incredible story line.

The setting in the beginning of the book takes place in California just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor which then of course was the start of WWII. The story revolves around three main characters, Maddie Kern, her brother TJ Kern and TJ's best friend Lane Moritomo who is the son of Japanese immigrants.

Lane and Maddie fall in love but hide it from TJ. Due to Lane's Japanese heritage hi...more
This book was sent to me by the publisher for review. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is the first by Kristina McMorris that I have read. A historical romance is not the kind of book I tend to read and that being the case I wasn't sure how I would like it but at the end of the book while wiping tears from my eyes I knew it was a book I was glad to have the pleasure of reading.

An interracial romance is now not a big deal it was however at one time huge. The romantic aspect of the story while clearly a...more
Talk about two star crossed lovers. In 1941, a Caucasian woman and a Japanese male fall in love. Maddie Kern and Takeshi (called Lane) Moritomo grew up the same neighborhood. He is her brother, T.J.'s best friend. T.J. friendship is thoroughly tested throughout this book as he doesn't expect his sister to fall in love with his best friend.
The two manage to slip away and marry. The very next day the Japanese attacks Pearl Harbor and all hell breaks loose. Lane finds himself unwanted in his own co...more
Wow, where do I start? This book was wonderful! It tells a tale of two people who come from different races and fall in love. After they elope, something horrible happens. The bombing of Pearl Harbor and both of their lives are never the same. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves hooked me from page one and never let me go! This book made me laugh, giggle and cry. I loved Kristina's first book, Letters From Home, but, dare I say, I LOVED this one more. It tugs at your heart strings and never lets go. I thin...more
I loved this book! The storyline was familiar, about Japanese Americans interned during WWII and the abuse they were subjected to. However, the characters in this book were so likeable, it presented the topic in a new light.

I also really enjoyed the author's style of writing. She made me care about the characters quickly, and I found myself late at night reading 'just one more chapter'. At one point, I was talking to the characters, telling them 'no, don't say that, you dope!', etc. I know.....w...more
Jan 25, 2013 Donna added it
I really enjoyed this book. I was not that familiar with what happened to Japanese Americans during WW11, so the plot of the story did educate me. The main character, Maddie, was very real-life to me, & she was determined & brave, traits I admire in a young woman. A good read.
First of all, let me make a few things clear. No pitcher would ever throw a screwball as his first pitch of the game, a knuckleball pitcher is just a knuckleball pitcher and there are very few pitchers who have more than three or four different pitches in their repertoires. I only know of one who has more than that and he, interestingly enough, is Japanese.

There's something else that's been bothering me and I know I've mentioned this before. This obnoxious habit of starting sentences with the wo...more
I read this right after No-No Boyby John Okada, the first novel dealing with Japanese American internment by an Asian American. Kristina McMorris is half-Japanese and is of a different generation. So I thought that this novel might be less intense than No-No Boy. I have to say that I did feel distanced from the characters for most of the book. There seemed to be some missing scenes that might have been edited out. I think they would have made the book stronger. Yet in the last hundred pages or s...more
Bridge of Scarlet Leaves left me teary-eyed, in awe, transformed, and hopeful. There is no way you can read this lovely poignant story without being changed. Kristina takes to you a place in history where terrible events took place, even on our own soil, and shows how love can conquer all.

The biggest shock for me was when I read about the work camps all the US Japanese citizens were forced to live in during the war. I had no idea such a treacherous thing took place here in America. They never r...more
One word: Mesmerizing!

There are good books, great books and then there are books that move you to no end. I was spellbound from the first page and Kristina McMorris continued to weave her spell hypnotizing me until the very last word.

Maddie is a Caucasian girl who falls in love with her brother's best friend Lane, who is a Japanese American. They keep their relationship a secret from everyone since interracial relations are not accepted. However, when Lane's parents set up an arranged marriage f...more
Alma Katsu
A great piece of storytelling that accurately captures the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII: I was happy to receive an Advance Reader’s Copy of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves because of my interest in this period. A Hapa myself, I learned about the internment from my father-in-law, who had been interned as a boy during the war, and his experiences led me and my husband to learn as much as we could about this complicated, sad episode of American history. While the Bridge of Scarlet Leav...more
Mar 06, 2012 Jean rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Review originally appeared on GreatThoughts:

"Readers of WWII fiction will devour Kristina McMorris’ Bridge of Scarlet Leaves.” – Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author.

I could not agree more. Since reading Unbroken, by Lauren Hillenbrand last year, I have been reading almost all historical fiction. When I read Jenna Blum’s review I knew I was going to love this book, not only is it historical fiction, but set during WWII, just like Unbroken. Bridge...more
I won a per-release copy of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris through the Goodreads First Reads program. This was my introduction to the writing style of Kristina McMorris and from the first page I was impressed. Her characters were well written and the story was very easy to become a part of.

In Bridge of Scarlet Leaves we are introduced to three key players: Maddie Kern, TJ Kern, and Lane Moritomo. The characters’ stories unfold in Los Angeles, CA right before Pearl Harbor is bombe...more
The exploration of interracial relationships during the height of wartime chaos sparked my interest. After reading the book's synopsis, I quickly dove in. Having loved Letters From Home, I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, something just didn't connect for me...

Maddie Kern and Lane Moritomo had succeeded in hiding their budding relationship from Maddie's older brother, TJ. However, Lane no longer wanted to hide their love. Maddie was not yet ready to explain their situation to her bro...more
On a dreary winter’s day in 1941 California natives Maddie Kern and Lane Moritomo elope in Seattle where it’s legal for a mixed race couple to wed, Lane born in the US the son of Japanese immigrants is all Maddie ever wanted in a spouse and vice versa but little did they know that the disapproval of their families would be the least of their worries, that the whole nation would soon be against the union when the very next day Japan would attack Pearl Harbor. Thus begins this countries fall from...more
If I had to describe this book in two words it would be soul stirring. The author weaves a tale of love and loss, set during a very tumultuous time in our countries history.

From the age of nine when Maddie Kern's father gave her a used violin it became her goal to enter into Juilliard. After the death of her mother, her father changed and her brother TJ started looking out for her, and thought that her dating anyone would be a distraction from her future plans. By the age of nineteen though she...more
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KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a critically acclaimed author published by Kensington Books, Penguin Random House, and HarperCollins UK. Her works of fiction have garnered more than twenty national literary awards and appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers lists. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her novels include LETTERS FROM HOME, BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES, and THE PIECES...more
More about Kristina McMorris...
Letters From Home The Pieces We Keep A Winter Wonderland Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion Reader's Digest Select Editions, Volume 314, 2011 #2: Crossfire / Sweet Misfortune / Outwitting Trolls / Letters from Home

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“The whole world can become the enemy when you lose what you love.” 204 likes
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