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Garden of Stones

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,106 ratings  ·  506 reviews
In the dark days of war, a mother makes the ultimate sacrifice. Lucy Takeda is just fourteen years old, living in Los Angeles, when the bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are ripped from their home, rounded up along with thousands of other innocent Japanese-Americans and taken to the Manzanar prison camp. 

Buffeted by blistering heat
Paperback, 301 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA (first published January 1st 2013)
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Popular Answered Questions
Adrienne Bonnici I don't think so. Some 'scenes' are strong and in my opinion not suitable for 11 year olds.
مروة الجزائري Yes there are 12 questions at the end of the e-book that I have. I am not sure if there is in the hard copy.
Yes there are 12 questions at the end of the e-book that I have. I am not sure if there is in the hard copy.

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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,106 ratings  ·  506 reviews

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Joy (joyous reads)
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
When we visited the Arizona Memorial Park in Oahu a couple of years ago, there are two things that immediately stood out: one, how reverent and sombre the atmosphere was despite the hoarde of tourist in attendance and two, the significant ratio of Japanese nationals that made up of those attendees. The tour also featured a twenty-minute film depicting the events of what had happened that day. And as I looked around the auditorium while the harrowing movie played out, I couldn't help but wonder w ...more
Tracee Gleichner
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book without knowing what it was about – I had downloaded it on my Kindle and without the book cover and synopsis (it was downloaded from Net Galley), I started reading it one night just by chance. And I am so extremely glad that I did!

This is the story of Lucy Takeda, a young girl who was a Japanese American during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The review is going to contain some spoilers – fair warning!

The story starts with a murder accusation – detectives show up at Lucy’
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
What Lucy had was a tiny seed inside her, a hard thing like a popcorn kernel. But Lucy's Kernel - she didn't know where it was located exactly, in her heart perhaps, or more likely in her spirit, wherever that might be found - would explode large as well. She didn't want much - a place of her own someday, a job of her choosing. But she meant to have it. And when she finally exploded, no one would ever be able to take her future from her again.

Garden of Stones is the story of Miyako and Lucy
M.J. Moore
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Writing a review for this novel is difficult. Was it enjoyable? Yes. Is it well written (prose/language wise)? Yes. About these things, I'm certain. What I had a bit of a problem with was the style - more specifically, I think the author had difficulty choosing one. The first half of the book is a solid, gritty, real family drama, set mostly against the backdrop of a World War II Japanese American Internment camp. Lucy Takeda is a fourteen year old Japanese American girl who is in the middle of ...more
Judith Starkston
When we think of internment camps and WWII, we don’t think of California, Arizona and Utah, but we should. Sophie Littlefield’s upcoming book, Garden of Stones, which moves between WWII and the 1970’s, draws us into this shameful chapter of US history after the bombing of Pearl Harbor—the rounding up, financial ruin, and forcible detention of Japanese Americans in desolate camps. I remember attending an exhibit in the early 70’s of photographs and artwork from the camps—a book of that exhibit is ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

When the police come to question Lucy Takeda regarding a murder, she is forced to reveal the past she has kept secret from her daughter for nearly forty years. In 1942, Lucy was an intelligent, pretty fourteen year old mourning the recent death of her father, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour and all US residents with Japanese ancestry were forcibly 'relocated' to camps established for the duration of the war. Sent with her mother, the beautiful but mercurial, Miyako, to a camp in Californi
مروة الجزائري
Actual rating is 3.5 stars.

I have a mixed feelings regarding this book. I liked it specially this is the first time i read about the Japanese -American war.
This book made me want to read more about this topic.

So many things covered in this book such as Motherhood, family bonds , sacrifice, rape and children abuse. And how beauty can be a curse and attract unwanted attention.
Thank god the rape and abuse scenes were very light and not descriptive because I don't have the heart to deal with those s
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Perhaps my review of this book is colored by the fact that I had just finished reading another book about the Japanese internment camps, but I did not like this book as much as I expected to. The story starts with a murder when Lucy is an adult, then flashes back to Lucy's life as a child, then flashes forward and back again several times. I found myself much more interested in Lucy's life as a child in the internment camp, and so the murder investigation in the flash-forward times seemed distra ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2010s-read
Why I rated a SL 3 stars. This was a well written book, no doubt. But the subject matter made it a very tough read. The bulk of the book takes place during WWII when we see our fellow Japanese Americans taken away from their lives and put them into camps like cattle. Of course you know what happens when you get oppressed people and a completely uncaring government. You get men who think nothing of abusing the people under their care. That is the story we have here and it was very emotional as we ...more
Barbara Bryan
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book
An uneven book that faltered for me in the last third. Lucy is a 15 year old Japanese American interred in the camps during WW2, so there is much injustice and agony to read about. Her beautiful mother is forced to service an officer to save Lucy from his interest. Alternating sections forward to Lucy’s daughter Patty discovering her mother’s history when Lucy is suspected of the murder of a cruel former internment camp worker.
Lucy’s mothers solution to the officers interest in Lucy was extreme
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've read a few novels about Japanese internment during WWII and they're as heartbreaking as they are fascinating. GARDEN OF STONES is no exception. It's an engrossing read, although a difficult one in which lots of horrible things happen. The three women at the center of the story (three generations from the same family) are each sympathetic, although Patty gets very little page time compared to her mother and grandmother, which makes her tougher to know. Although GARDEN OF STONES is engaging, ...more
Susan Tunis
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Patient readers will be rewarded

Sophie Littlefield’s latest novel, Garden of Stones, opens in San Francisco in 1978. The first chapter anticipates the murder of an old man. The second chapter introduces Patty Takeda and her mother Lucy. Patty, visiting her mother in the days leading up to her (Patty’s) wedding, wakes to find Lucy having an early morning chat with a police inspector. Lucy is being questioned because she knew the victim decades prior, and neighborhood residents placed her at the s
Eustacia Tan
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think in history class, the World War Two narratives were pretty straightforward the Nazi's were all bad (although there was Sophie, who spoke out against them and was killed for it) and the Japanese were all bad. We don't really hear about people like Sophie or Sugihara, who did some truly commendable things. Likewise, we don't hear about things like how the Americans used Japanese body parts to make, ugh, objects (I refuse to list). Or about the concentration-camp-like places that loyal Japa ...more
Apr 01, 2013 rated it liked it
There are stories that we Americans are fond of shouting to the sky. Tales of daring, boldness and the great courage in "making do" in order to stand on your own two feet. We tell stories of wars, of exploration and the exploits of semi-mythical figures that loom large off the page. We like the stories, they define us, they define the American Dream of making a life a success on one's one terms. But there are also stories we don't tell. Ugly stories, which we (often successfully) try to forget. ...more
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lucy is a Japanese teen in the Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles when Pearl Harbor is bombed and she’s moved to an internment camp. I’m fascinated by this time period as I feel American history really glosses over it. We quarantined tens of thousands of people based on race alone, with some shoddy “they might be spies/infidels/etc.” rhetoric. Meanwhile many of these folks had never been to Japan, didn’t speak Japanese, and saw themselves as nothing but American. Because they were.

The confusion y
Barbara Sissel
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
How far would you go as a mother to keep your child safe from harm? What could you be driven to do, if like Miyako Takeda in Sophie Littlefield’s beautifully rendered and touching novel, Garden of Stones, you knew that, ultimately, you could not be there to protect your young daughter from the horrible assault you know lies in wait for her? The answers to these questions would be difficult enough under ordinary circumstances, during peace time. But for Miyako and her daughter, Lucy, who are impr ...more
Deborah Ledford
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Let me first say that I am a huge Sophie Littlefield fan. I’ve read almost all of her books, from her riotous Stella Hardesty crime novels, the Aftertime series, and her young adult novels. Ms. Littlefield never fails to keep me flipping the pages. Her latest, GARDEN OF STONES, puts this talented writer on yet another genre list--that of literary author. Prowess and perfection dot these pages, filled with insightful perceptions, lyrical phrasing and most of all, captivating characters I won’t so ...more
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

I liked this historical fiction novel. It centered around one Japanese family's experience as they were swept away from their comfortable, free American life and taken to the Japanese internment camps. This had a mystery twist, which added interest.

For one mother and her child, their assigned internment camp turned out to be a cruel place because of the abuse of power that went unchecked. Their bond for each other was touching, and because of their circumstances, that in turn forged st
Janet Lynch
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was very well written but heartbreaking and despairingly sad. The book seemed to almost have two halves and I think Lucy changed midstream. I loved her character and then felt she lost her fight and personality. The book had several surprising twists at the very end (don't read ahead BB!) All in all I really liked this book but wish Lucy had done things differently. BB and Rachel, read this book so I can talk to someone about it!

Opening with a modern-day murder mystery, Garden of Stones is a rich, touching and poignant historical tale describing the fate of a Japanese-American girl caught up in the aftermath of Pearl Harbour and sent to the infamous Japanese internment camp near Manzanar, California, which will change her life and future forever.

Lucy Takeda is a pretty fourteen-year-old girl living in Los Angeles and mourning her recently deceased father when the bombing of Pearl Harbour takes place on December 7, 19
I thought it was a good book, a little confused at the end, wasn't sure whether Lucy was pregnant or the other lady
Maureen DeLuca
Sep 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I really didn't enjoy this book as much as I normally do with historical fiction reading... 2.5
Sam Still Reading
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people looking to know more about forgotten parts of WWII
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: ARC from publisher - thank you!
Garden of Stones is a different book to what I was expecting from the cover – and I mean that in a good way. I thought the book would be about a mother with a young daughter struggling in an internment camp. While the book does highlight the struggles of Lucy (a teenager, older than the girl on the cover) and her mother, this story is a gripping, heart wrenching one of love and sacrifice. There are scenes that will cause you to gasp in horror, shake your head in disgust at brutal cruelty and wee ...more
When I first picked up Garden of Stones, I thought the author's name sounded familiar, and it was only when I was more than halfway through that I realised she is the author of the zombie / post-apocalyptic Aftertime series. I haven't read Aftertime, but I was impressed at how versatile an author Ms. Littlefield is - after all, zombies and historical fiction are two of my favourite genres but are as pretty much far apart as genre's can be.

Garden of Stones is not an overly sympathetic book. There
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Like almost every American student of my generation, I had to read "Farewell to Manzanar" for school; in my case, 7th grade. I was twelve, and to be honest I remember nothing about the book other than how depressing it was. Manzanar was a travesty, a horrific aspect of American history that they teach us about in order to make sure we don't repeat our mistakes. When we went to war against "terrorism," Americans may have felt like putting people of Middle Eastern heritage in concentration camps, ...more
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Ann
Recommended to Katherine by: Susan Tunis
3.5 stars.

I'm somewhat familiar with the Japanese Internment in California History, thanks to a nonfiction book called" Stubborn Twig." What I appreciated about this novel, was that it brought a more engaging way to connecting to this context. Maybe it was the writing style, but it was definitely a page-turner. And maybe because we didn't know too much of the intimate tragic details of what really happened during this period, it was possible to focus more on the role of women and the survival s
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I once heard a song (by Kasey Chambers?) on TV with the line: If you're not pissed off at the world, then you're just not paying attention. So true. And it's impossible to read Sophie Littlefield's Garden of Stones without getting pissed off at the American government during World War II.

I didn't know about the internment camps. Back in the 1940s, if you were in the US but had Japanese ancestry, they assumed you were an enemy, a spy, or whatever false accusation they could come up with. And thus
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Garden Of Stones was an inexplicably moving account of the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. It's a tale of love, sacrifice, survival and the unfathomable cost of fear and social prejudice on innocents.

Miyako Takedo and her daughter Lucy are just 2 of the thousands of innocent Americans forcibly detained in prison camps for their Japanese ancestry. Sophie Littlefield draws from first person accounts, journals and interviews of internees so the detai
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lucy lives with her mother, Miyako and father. Lucy puts on her best school clothes. She knows today is the day that she will be chosen to be either a hall or lunch monitor. Only this does not happen. One of Lucy’s friends tell her it is because she is Japanese. Lucy does not realize just how different this really makes her until her father dies and the President orders all of the Japanese to be sent to concentration camps.

Sophie Littlefield has done it again. She won me over with her story of
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, 2013
I thought this book was going to be straight forward going into it, however as I kept reading it got to be very uncomfortable to read. I hated what was happening to Lucy and that Miyako kept getting backed into a corner. I hated that when Lucy would find one good thing it got taken away.

With what was happening in the present I have a feeling I knew what Miyako was going to do to Lucy. Was it a horrible thing to do, absolutely, but was it the better of two evils, again absolutely. It seems to be
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Called a “writing machine” by the New York Times and a “master storyteller” by the Midwest Book Review, Sophie Littlefield has written dozens of novels for adults and teens. She has won Anthony and RT Book Awards and been shortlisted for Edgar, Barry, Crimespree, Macavity, and Goodreads Choice Awards.

Sophie also writes under the pen name Sofia Grant.

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