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Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,970 ratings  ·  460 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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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  2,970 ratings  ·  460 reviews

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Kristina McMorris
Oct 28, 2011 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!
Stephanie Anze
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maddie Kern is a talented violinist with her sights set on Julliard and with a bright future ahead of her Tj (Maddie's older brother) is extremely protective. Depending solely on themselves, as both their parents were affected by an accident, this brother and sister are close. However, there is something Maddie is hiding from TJ. She has been secretly seeing Lane Moritomo, TJ's best friend. Of Japanese ancestry, Lane's relationship with Maddie is complicated by the growing resentment towards the ...more
Sep 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traveling-book
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
Erika Robuck
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
**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
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
I should have stopped early on when I first laughed at the cheesy descriptions of affection between the two main characters. I knew then that the book was probably not going to be that appealing, but it was an easy enough read so I continued on. I realize I'm one of the few here to dislike the book and am truly surprised so many give it five stars, but I reserve five stars for truly incredible books, and this falls way short. For one, the characters as well as the relationships between them are ...more
Diane S ☔
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This author has the uncanny knack of writing stories that are very easy to read and combine the elements of history and a romance with a profound sense of the era. The Japanese and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the mistrust and the prejudice that came from it are all brilliantly related here. The characters of Maddie and Lane are wonderful. This author puts one solidly back in this time period with a depth of feeling and emotion that is impressive. Anyone who liked her last book, Letters from Hom ...more
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who liked Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
Shelves: favorites, 2012
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
Vaughn Roycroft
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 cha
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.

Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had never read anything by Kristina McMorris before, so when I saw this book at my local Dollar Store and decided to buy it strictly because it was set during WWII, I had no expectations. After finishing the book, and crying my eyes out, I can say now that McMorris is a true talent. Though Bridge over Scarlet Leaves isn't a literary classic, I believe it should be, because McMorris was able to craft a story told time and again, but make it new, refreshing, happy, and heartbreaking. I went in r ...more
Christine Mott
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Bridge of Scarlett Leaves
5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This novel is beautifully written and gives a unique view of a pair of young men, who consider themselves as brothers.
When Pearl Harbor is hit and war is declared they both soon discover the world around them sees things very differently. One young man TJ, is Caucasian and his best friend Lane is Japanese-American. Lane is also in a secret relationship with TJ’s sister Maddie.
During the war even though they are on the same side they are treated differently
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
❖/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
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
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
Amy Lignor
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads
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
Laura Kay Bolin
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing

After suffering the loss of her mother, Maddie Kern is about to audition for Julliard. Her future is full of music and promise. She lives in California with her older and very protective brother TJ who is now watching over her, while their dad is unable to face the reality of his wife's death. Maddie is secretly in love with Lane Moritomo, TJ’s best friend and is planning on keeping it all hush hush until the right time.

What could be wrong with that? They
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii
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,
Mar 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
I tried so hard to get into this novel, but it was so cheesy. I pushed myself to get through the first 50 pages (in which I would finally give up after the 50 Page Rule).

The writing read like a young adult novel in that it was so basic and corny, not to mention it went into so much detail over nothing scenes. The high school relationship failed, the angry brother, the love-struck sister with the mischievousness best friend, and the loner Japanese friend brought nothing to the table for me.

I wo
Therese Walsh
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!
Jan 25, 2013 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. ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A different angle regarding WWII. Unfortunately, it leans heavier on the love story part and that was disappointing as I had hoped to learn more about the internment camps for the Japanese during the war. The characters and plot starts out being a bit cheesy but did get better. The two main characters are an American girl and her brother’s best friend, a Japanese that fall in love. They get engaged but keep it a secret until they feel it is the right time to tell her overly protective brother. B ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
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 br
Goodreads Description- 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. Her brother's best friend, Lane is the handsome, ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie was prepared for disapproval from their families, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, the full force of their decision becomes apparent. In the eyes of a fearful nation, Lane is no longer ...more
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Please skip this book. Or, just read the afterword, with all of the great book suggestions she used as resources, and please read these primary sources instead. I’m not sure why she felt the need to try to reinvent the wheel and write a secondary (tertiary? etc.) account of these things.

Also, I think she bit off more than she could chew: instead of trying to handle “Japanese-American experiences during WWII,” “situations of brothers fighting against each other on both sides during WWII,” “POW
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
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WW 20s groupies: February Read: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves 1 11 Feb 02, 2014 12:51PM  
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Romance Readers R...: AC: Kristina McMorris of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves (March 5 - March8) 65 104 Mar 09, 2012 11:00PM  

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KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her novels have garnered more than two dozen literary awards and nominations, including the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA’s RITA® Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her works of fiction have been published by Penguin Random House, HarperCollins ...more

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