Sophie and the Rising Sun
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Sophie and the Rising Sun

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  435 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Salty Creek is a sleepy Georgia town where everyone knows everyone else's business. Strangers rarely enter their midst. When the mysterious Mr. Oto arrives in the spring of 1939, he immediately becomes the talk of the town.

A quiet, unassuming Japanese man with a secret history of his own, Mr. Oto meets Sophie soon after arriving in Salty Creek and immediately falls in lo...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 24th 2002 by Plume (first published 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Best Southern Books
142nd out of 436 books — 564 voters
Out of the Box Regifted by Jennifer TheriotEarly One Morning by Aubree LaneOut of the Box Awakening by Jennifer TheriotSecrets of the Realm by Bev StoutCornered Coyote by Dianne Harman
Summer Page Turners
98th out of 186 books — 352 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 880)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Tracey, librarian on strike
I had no idea what to expect from this Netgalley book. I knew the synopsis - basically that a middle-aged spinster forms a friendship, perhaps more, with the Japanese gardener working for a friend right at the onset of America's involvement in WWII; that could go any number of ways.

The way Sophie and the Rising Sun went was utterly beautiful. Mr. Oto - and that is all I'm going to call him, as his given name deserves the reveal it gets - is a lovely, lovely character, a man who has done a bit o...more
Pamela Pickering
Feb 12, 2008 Pamela Pickering rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women of all ages
Shelves: favorites
If you're looking for a gentle, heartwarming love story this is the story for you. Don't expect any hot sex scenes. lust, or strife, just the tender approach of love for an unlikely couple. The story is well written and can be read quickly--a good choice for a rainy day. It's too bad they don't write stories like this anymore. Quite a gem!
Lovely sweet story of two 50somethings finding love at the start of the second world war. The hero was an extremely mild mannered man of Japanese descent and the heroine was a spinster who had spent her whole life looking after her mother and aunts. Most of the story was told through the eyes of the hero. I really enjoyed how he felt so much for the heroine without even really knowing her. And after they met, he really treated her like a princess. I loved the description of the painting that he...more
I was drawn to this book as I am to most stories that involve the immigrant struggle during World War II. It's a very sweet love story, and I adored Mr. Oto. Who wouldn't adore Mr. Oto? I think that's one of the reasons I was ultimately disappointed. I wanted closure on his story. This novel needed more development in my opinion, more time with Sophie and Mr. Oto when they finally connected and more resolution at the ending. There were several things that were just left. It felt very incomplete....more
Tara Chevrestt
I am really torn about this book. One one hand, I see a beautiful love story... Oto loves Sophie right away, and his is a beautiful love. There nothing even remotely ugly about Oto. His love isn't one of those, "Oh my manhood stirred at the sight of her and I imagined myself.." kind of loves. His love is pure, his character innocent and naive. Sophie, too, has a clean love for Otto.

On the other hand, where the heck is this love coming from? Oto sees her and from then on, it's all about this wei...more
There is nothing better than just stumbling upon a book while perusing at the library, knowing nothing about it, and discovering that you have found a gem. That’s how it was with this one—Sophie and the Rising Sun, which I only picked up because my daughter’s name was in the title. It turned out to be such a lovely story. It’s a quick read—only about 200 pages—perfect for a rainy day.
Jenna Anderson
Wonderful - The Help Meets Nicholas Sparks

This story is a wonderful, lovely tale. I instantly liked Sophie, Miss Anne, Mr. Oto and was drawn into their world. Miss Ruth is portrayed in a perfectly nasty way. Well done. Queen Sally was fun and I only wish she had a bigger part in the book.

If you are a fan of Nicholas Sparks and his soft, sometimes gushy, love stories, I suggest you try Sophie and the Rising Sun. While Mr. Sparks can leave us with a face full of tears, I was left with a smile aft...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
delicate as a paper crane

Simply, yet beautifully, written and poignant, Sophie and the Rising Sun — a narrative, in the plaintive voice of various characters — takes place in a sleepy southern town in Georgia.

Sophie, a refined southern lady and middle-aged spinster, finds she has depleted her “young and beautiful years” caring for her elderly mother and aunts, after her beau, Henry, never returned from WWI. Finds herself quite resigned to the idea of never finding love at her age, Sophie, finds...more
I am not sure what I was expecting when I started this book but what I got was a beautiful chaste love story between southern belle Sophie and Japanese American Mr. Oto. This was a beautifully written look at the south during the time of Pearl Harbor and everything changed for Mr. Oto and the women in his life his boss Miss Ann and his friend (and woman he loves) Miss Sophie. But this was so much more than a love story; it’s a friendship story and also a historical look at a very tough time espe...more
I was excited to see an Asian male/white female (amwf, as it’s known online) story pop up on Netgalley. They can be hard to find, and I thought the dual extra setting of the racist rural south and WWII would make it more interesting. I still don’t doubt that these positive things are what the author was going for, but it didn’t quite come through for me in the story.

Trobaugh picked an interesting writing structure that I found worked well for the story. It’s a mix of an elderly Miss Anne relatin...more
In the years preceding America's entry into World War II, a quiet Georgia town called Salty Creek is home to a peculiar and risky romance.
For quite some time, only polite and brief exchanges were ever had between a spinster named Sophie and Miss Anne's courteous and enigmatic “Chinese” gardener, Mr. Oto. Miss Anne, a moral woman whose memories of the event are at the center of this tale, provides Oto with refuge after he arrives, disgraced, starving, and essentially dropped from a Greyhound bus...more
Review first published on my blog:

Sophie and the Rising Sun is a story of World War II - specifically of World War II right as the attack on Pearl Harbor happens. It is a story of that time but set in a small Georgia town. As such, it is period piece about the American South.

Sophie is the town spinster with an overpowering mother and a lost love in her background. Ms. Anne is the one in town not afraid to do things a little differently. Ms. Ruth is the to...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melanie Coombes
This is a very short, sweet love story. It starts out slowly and is mainly told by Miss Anne.
Miss Anne is an older woman who lives in the small Georgia town on the eve of WWII. She is telling us about Mr. Oto, a Japanese-American, who used to be her gardener. Mr. Oto quietly works and keeps to himself, until the day he meets the local spinster, Sophie. (I never quite figured out Sophie's age, but she is older and never married.) Over the course of time, Sophie and Mr. Oto meet once a week to pai...more
"Sophie and the Rising Sun" by Augusta Trobaugh is a bit like a haiku in novel form: brief, beautiful, full of symbolism and complex for its simplicity. It is romantic in the very best way, pitting the idealism of love against the cold realities of circumstance.

Told in various viewpoints, the story places a not-quite-hopeless spinster and a middle-aged Japanese-American gardener in a small Southern town on the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The author chose her setting in which dangerous pre...more
Priscilla Melchior
From the book cover: "In sleepy Salt Creek, Georgia, strangers are rare. When a quiet unassuming stranger arrives ��� a Japanese man with a secret history of his own ��� he becomes the talk of the town and a new beginning for a lonely Sophie, who lost her first love during World War I."

It looks like "Sophie and the Rising Sun," originally published more than 10 years ago, has been re-issued by its publisher in anticipation of a new novel from Trobaugh. I'll be interested to see what I think of t...more
Author: Augusta Trobaugh
Title: Sophie and the Rising Sun
Description : This is a short novel, close to a novella, set in Georgia in 1941. When Miss Anne’s oriental gardener and Miss Sophie begin to become friends, not only do they face their racial differences, but their age—and the beginning of WWII.
Review source: Library Thing Early Reviewers
Plot: Nothing mind-blowing. Two people who think they have missed love somehow find it, in the worst of all possible circumstances. Complicated by the chur...more
Diane S.
3.5 Mr Otto is a middle aged man of Japanese ethnicity,although he was born in California and considers himself an American. Sophie is a middle aged spinster, having taken care of her mother and than her elderly aunts, and losing her first love in World War I. Taking place in a small town in Georgia, this is not a passionate love affair but a rather elegant one as is the writing in this novel. When Pearl Harbor is bombed all the small town stereotypes as well as the usual prejudices come into pl...more
Shari Larsen
A very moving story about an extraordinary love and a town's prejudice during World War II. Set in the sleepy town of Salty Creek, Georgia, where strangers are rare, an unassuming stranger arrives; a quiet, Japanese man in his 50's, with secrets of his own. He becomes a new beginning for lonely Sophie, who lost her first love during World War I. She has resigned herself to a life of living alone, but that changes when she meets Mr. Oto. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Mr. Oto's newfound lif...more
Dixiane Hallaj
Sophie and the Rising Sun by Augusta Trobaugh is an exquisitely told tale set in a small Georgia town, complete with the standard righteous town busybody and all the prejudices of small towns in the Deep South in the early 1940s. Mr. Oto, a “foreign” man, arrives half-starved and becomes Miss Anne’s “Chinese” gardener. Mr. Oto and Sophie, a “real lady” who never had a chance at love, slowly develop a relationship as delicate and beautiful as the bird’s wing in the Japanese folk tale that is skil...more
This book was a nice, easy read. The book is narrated by Miss Anne who takes in a Japanese man as her gardner just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Mr. Oto meets and quietly and mutually falls in love with Sophie. After Pearl Harbor is attacked, the residents of the town turn their hatred toward Mr. Oto and make life challenging for him and those close to him. The book highlights the issues with a small town and the hatred toward Japanese Americans, even those who were born in the U.S. and d...more
What a treat to wrap up 2012 with a five-star book! This tender book was utterly delightful. It's the gentle love story between an old Southern spinster and a Japanese gardener around the start of WWII.

There were so many wonderful things going on simultaneously in this book--the side stories were as touching as the main one. The character of Miss Anne was my favorite--we all need a Miss Anne in our lives!

I feel torn about the author's use of point-of-view--she moved back and forth between firs...more
I could taste the stale humid Georgia air as I read this book. I could even see the town they were in, even though I have never been there. The author had some great descriptions. I loved the descriptions of the grand sky and the vast stars above the ocean. I could smell the salty air. Love it!

This was a quick and GREAT read. I think it worthy of a bookclub read. Mr. Oto's character really drew me in. Even though much of the politics of that time weren't discussed in detail, his treatment spoke...more
Set in the deep South with all its prejudices and charm in 1939, this is a story about a love that develops gently and sweetly between Mr. Oto, a middle-aged Japanese gardener, and Sophie, a spinster daughter just released from her diligent care of her domineering mother and two aging aunts when they pass away. Sophie and Mr. Oto's slowly evolving love story is complicated by the attack on Pearl Harbor and the implications for Mr. Oto as a foreigner. "I'm an American," he asserts but his facial...more
Wanted a bit more development in the relationship between Sophie and Mr. Oto. Also, I felt like I missed out a lot of Sophie's life before Mr. Oto came into the picture. The author went into quite some detail about Sophie's younger years, but then there wasn't so much in the years after her aunts and mother died. There was even less about Mr. Oto's life. Wanted to now more about the mystery of Sophie's past relationship and also Mr. Oto's past relationship.

There was some nice imagery in places.

Heartwarming story of a spinster in a small town and a Japanese gardener who become friends and then fall in love, just as Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. Small town gossip, good friends all play a role in their story.
This book made me feel....poetic. That doesn't happen to me a lot. It has romance, but not the butterfly in the stomach kind....the actual learn what love feels like kind. The learning and growing and accepting and understanding that takes place in so many of the characters was really inspiring. There was nothing particularly beautiful in the book, but I would say it leaves you with a sense of beauty. True beauty.
I loved how it switched back and forth between Miss Anne and narrator. By the end...more
I wish I could rate this 3.75 stars. It didn't quite make it to 4 stars for me, but it was pretty close. This is a great love story that is super clean. There is also no language in the book except for 1 word that I can think of. I'm not huge into romance books, but this one was sweet. It's a story of 2 middle aged people who both never married when they were younger and fall in love...except that it's during WWII and the man is an American-born you can imagine the scandal, etc. I...more
Susan Burnongham
In 1943 a mysterious stranger aarriver sin Salty Creek, Georgia. Mr. Oto, a quiet, unassuming, ,an beomes a gardner for Sophie, who lost her love during World War I. Sophie has resigned herself to a life craing for her aging mother and aging maiden aunts. I agonized until Miss Sophie and Mr. Oto finally speak. To Mr. Oto, whose heart has been full from the moment he saw Sophie,it is a miracle. When the Japanese bomb Peral Harbor, Mr. Oto's new found life comesunder seige. Is any joy possible for...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 29 30 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sentimental Journey
  • Love is a Wounded Soldier
  • Heir To The Everlasting
  • Flame of Resistance
  • To Find a Mountain
  • The Wedding Gift
  • The Red Rooster
  • The Past Came Hunting
  • Little Sacrifices
  • Ravenscraig
  • Desperate Housedogs (Pampered Pets Mystery #1)
  • Unto These Hills
  • The Lives of Rachel
  • Mozart's Wife
  • The Witch's Grave (Fever Devilin, #2)
  • Wildflowers of Terezin
  • All My Love, Detrick
  • Love from the Ashes
The Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society Swan Place River Jordan Praise Jerusalem! Resting in the Bosom of the Lamb

Share This Book