Sharon's Reviews > The Ash Garden
The Ash Garden
by Dennis Bock
by Dennis Bock
Mar 06, 11
Read in March, 2011
The 'Ash Garden' refers to the somehow miraculous growth of flowers that started to grow just weeks later in the ashes of what was left of Hiroshima and its people. Dennis Bock has written about the most disturbing event to happen in our world, the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The atom bomb was used as a means to end world slaughter at the time. The book retraces the lives of three people whose lives were changed as a result. We go on a journey with Emiko Amai, a little girl, who while playing on a riverbank one morning, had her face burned away. She is trying to discover the men behind the bomb, one of them being Anton Boll, and his reason. Anton was one of the last intellectuals to escape Germany during the war and join the Manhatten project in the U.S. He meets his wife Sophie, whose story is also told, and we are led on this emotional roller coaster as all of us try to make sense of this along with the characters. One of the most disturbing revelations to me was that they actually had debated whether to drop the bomb on a city or a military target, or over some barren area. Emiko says at one point about Anton, "I wondered if I shouldn't walk down and ... confess that I could never understand what he'd done, and therefore not free him from the impossible burden of explanation." This sums up how I feel about this incident. The ending leaves one feeling greatly impacted by this emotional story which should be made compulsory reading in schools.
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