Despite there being a lot of cliche remarks and predictable conversations between the characters that left me cringing, I found I couldn't put the boo...moreDespite there being a lot of cliche remarks and predictable conversations between the characters that left me cringing, I found I couldn't put the book down once into it. There were a few poetic sentences, but for the most part it was the resiliency of the characters and the storyline that carried it through.
Part of the lure of this untold World War II story is due to myself being a Caucasian woman married to a Korean (in the book it's a Japanese man), and the racial discrimination they face as well as the love that challenges them. From American treatment of Japanese immigrants,citizens, and those who love them, to the bonds that bridge cultures.
This story has three main protagonists - Maddie a young violinist coming into herself and finding her "voice; Lane, a Japanese-American who has unknowingly shunned his Japanese heritage in the past and finally comes to understand where he fits in; and TJ, Maddie's over-protective, scarred older brother who acts out his aggression in lieu of feeling.
For a historical fiction, it seems very accurate. From the people and their actions in West Coast USA to Pearl Harbour and then the Philippines, it's an engaging read. I even found myself tearing up at a couple of points. Read this story if you want to hear the often untold stories of war and human endurance. (less)
This was my first Hurston novel, and I was blown away. From the use of spot-on heavy "black vernacular" of the deep south in the 1930's (which took me...moreThis was my first Hurston novel, and I was blown away. From the use of spot-on heavy "black vernacular" of the deep south in the 1930's (which took me about 20 pages to fall into), to the poetic lyricism that encircles it and frames the lives of these real-self characters, this book was/is beyond incredible for me. Zora Neale Hurston describes a person or a moment that is thought to be unnameable and in the realms of pure sensation only, and yet she brings it from this nameless ether and makes it seem a natural, simplistic notion. She's brilliant.
It wasn't required reading in my high school in Canada (ahem, 10 years ago), and I'm not sure I would have appreciated then as I was able to now. (less)