Kimi, a high school English teacher who is half-Japanese, wants to write a book about her grandparents' experiences at Heart Mountain Internment Camp...more
Kimi, a high school English teacher who is half-Japanese, wants to write a book about her grandparents' experiences at Heart Mountain Internment Camp for Japanese citizens during WWII. However, she doesn't know her grandmother well and this time in their history was never spoken of while Kimi was growing up. Kimi must visit her grandmother in Florida and forge a relationship with her to get her story, and the book ends up not only being about the internment camp but about a grandmother and granddaughter reaching out to one another and becoming close. This was a very well-written tribute to grandparents who suffered the indignities of being removed from their innocent lives during a time in our country's history that was shameful, it understandable at the time, as well as the story of a wonderful, strong lady and her adult granddaughter forging a friendship.(less)
Sweet story very reminiscent of the movie "A Christmas Story" of a 9-year-old Cleveland boy named Morris Bird III who wants to do something brave. He...more
Sweet story very reminiscent of the movie "A Christmas Story" of a 9-year-old Cleveland boy named Morris Bird III who wants to do something brave. He decides to visit his best friend who has moved across town, and decides to get there by walking. Little does know he will end up in the middle of a deadly event in Cleveland's history that will showcase his bravery in a way that a walk across town never could.
Set against the backdrop of WW II, this book was all the precious hilarity and innocence of the aforementioned "A Christmas Story" and you certainly picture Morris Bird III being a lot like Ralphie in the movie. I loved the ironic and amusing writing style of the author, and I can't wait to read the next two books in the series.
Very good and realistic story of a large Pittsburgh family dealing with the first Christmas of America being in WWII. Very true to the time and the c...more
Very good and realistic story of a large Pittsburgh family dealing with the first Christmas of America being in WWII. Very true to the time and the characters were very well-rounded, especially the parents and oldest son and daughter.(less)
Really adorably-written book for young people that grow ups can also enjoy. I am an Anglophile and WWII buff but never really understood what had hap...more
Really adorably-written book for young people that grow ups can also enjoy. I am an Anglophile and WWII buff but never really understood what had happened on the Channel Islands during the war. I learned a great deal from this book...and it is also a Christian story, about a young girl, her brother and cousin, and a young neighbor boy who live through a scary time on Guernsey, during the German occupation of the island. Lizzie relies on her faith to get her through the frightening times, and also finds that just because a person may seem bad or is supposed to be a mean person, it isn't always necessarily so.(less)
If I could give this book infinite stars, I would.
Ever had a book take your breath away?
I hadn't. Not until this weekend.
Funnily enough, the other...moreIf I could give this book infinite stars, I would.
Ever had a book take your breath away?
I hadn't. Not until this weekend.
Funnily enough, the other night I gazed at my bookshelves at the tons of books arranged there, and wondered how many wonderful books were there and had been there for ages, while I read newer books that had come my way. But earlier this weekend I picked up a book that had been gathering dust for several years and decided to give it a whirl.
The cover of One Summer at Deer's Leap by Elizabeth Elgin is very cheesy, depicting a WW II soldier lovingly clutching the shoulders of a young woman in a misty English setting...almost Harlequin Romance-esque, almost so much that it was probably the reason I'd put off reading it. I ordered it several years ago from a British bookseller on Amazon Marketplace, since I have a WWII England obsession, but that cover had put me off for some reason. And maybe it was the plotline, which seemed fantastic and a little unbelievable. However, this weekend I decided to jump into it.
It's the story of a young, present-day (well, circa 1998) writer, Cassie, who is invited to a "fancy-dress" (costume) party in the country, at her editor's sister's home, which is called Deer's Leap. On the way down the lane to the large, very old house she comes across a tall, handsome man dressed in an RAF pilot's uniform, hitching a ride. She stops and lets him into the car, thinking he is also a party guest, in costume. He tells her on the short ride to the house's gate that he is going to meet someone at the house, and seems very anxious and in a hurry. He asks to be let off at the gate, and then disappears through it. Cassie is very attracted to him and that night at the party, looks for him, but he doesn't appear. After the party she is sitting and chatting with her editor Jeannie and the hosts, Beth and Danny, and she mentions the airman to whom she gave a lift. She learns that he is a local and legendary ghost that most people won't admit to seeing for fear of being thought insane, although Beth says she has seen him once before. His name is Jack Hunter, and he was a pilot from nearby and now abandoned RAF Acton Carey, built on the land just below Deer's Leap. His plane had crashed in June 1944 in the village after a bombing mission, and he had not been able to rest. Cassie, who is somewhat of a "medium", becomes obsessed with researching the house's history to try and piece together why Jack Hunter's spirit still roamed the grounds of Deer's Leap. She is cautioned by her hosts not to meddle, but of course she does, and thank the literary gods that she does, because the story that unfolds is fabulous and unforgettable.
Cassie meets an elderly man from the village who fills her in about the house and the Smith family who lived there during the war and who just disappeared without a trace after the RAF took their house and grounds to billet soldiers. She realizes that the only daughter of the Smith family, Susan, was in love with Jack and he with her, and it's "Suzie" that Jack is still looking for, over 50 years later. Cassie then makes it her mission to find Susan Smith and reunite the two so that Jack can finally rest in peace. The tale of how she attempts to accomplish this seemingly impossible task will be one that I will never forget. Rarely does a book make me cry, but this one did, and I absolutely fell in love with the characters.
This could have been the dumbest, cheesiest and most redundant plot ever, but Elizabeth Elgin is a writer extraordinaire and she makes this story so very beautiful. Every night this weekend I have reluctantly laid the book aside to try and sleep, and have lain awake thinking about it. This book will be one I will keep on my "read" shelf forever.
One of the best books I have ever read. Absolutely beautiful and beautifully-written story of a Jewish girl who escapes Berlin in 1933 with her family...moreOne of the best books I have ever read. Absolutely beautiful and beautifully-written story of a Jewish girl who escapes Berlin in 1933 with her family as Hitler comes to power...she comes of age during World War II in Paris and London, and later marries and begins her career as a writer in the 1950's. It's a wonderful family saga and really delves deeply into interpersonal relationships and what makes them tick along, and how different personalities within a family are the glue that holds lives together. Although the names are changed, this is really the true life story from age 9 to age 25 of the author, Judith Kerr.(less)