Garden Of Stones by Sophie Littlefield - 3o1 pages
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 and choking dust, Lucy and Miyako must endure the harsh living conditions of the camp. Corruption and abuse creep into every corner of Manzanar, eventually ensnaring beautiful, vulnerable Miyako. Ruined and unwilling to surrender her daughter to the same fate, Miyako soon breaks. Her final act of desperation will stay with Lucy forever...and spur her to sins of her own.
My Review: 3.5 stars
This book has all the components of a winner for me: mother/daughter relationships, historical fiction, descriptive scenes and craftful writing, yet I lacked a deep emotional connection to it. The murder at the beginning of the story gets slightly put aside from the story as the POV’s of both the mother (1941) and daughter (1978) take over, which becomes the heart of the book. Both of these women suffered from their beauty and being in an internment camp only heightened this problem. The staggering difference between the ugliness of the camp and the beauty/goodness of these characters was evident. Having a character from more current times, the granddaughter, be the link to the past worked well. I feel this book could’ve stood on its own without the murder and I would’ve liked to know more about what happened to the characters from the motel, as they were integral to who Lucy became. Definitely worth reading, interesting time period in American history that isn’t often discussed.
Quotes I liked:
- “Lucy thought of the clusters of women in the ironing house, gossiping and laughing over their work, or even fussing over sick children together. Sharing moments of levity and grief. Wasn’t that the way a woman’s life was supposed to be?”
- “In the dream, Miyako’s face and limbs were so thin that her bones protruded. Only her torso remained plump and full, the silky fabric stretched tight across her belly, her breast. Worry. She was made of worry, her skin stretched with it, her body stuffed with it, like one of those olives stuffed with bright red pimento.”
Tags: 2013, Historical Fiction, WW2, Japan, Mystery, Mothers/Daughters, Asian
Labels: 2013, Asian, Historical Fiction, Japan, Mothers/Daughters, Mystery, WW2