This is a quiet, short novel that builds in intensity. I began reading it without much inkling of its content and it took a few pages to comprehend the way the story was being told. The author uses the real stories of multiple Japanese women who were brought to America as mail order brides in the 1920's and 30's. The writing tells each person's story in a single sentence, one after the other, so the reader is given a perspective on their shared experiences of being on a ship to America, meeting their new husbands, raising their families, and working and living in the U.S. One reviewer calls it "a chorus of voices". I felt I learned more about the Japanese temperament and culture while reading the book. The story builds to the internmentent of the Japanese during WWII.
There is a memorial outside of Phoenix to the Japanese that were interred near Casa Grande. After reading this story, I plan to visit and learn more about this sad part of our history. I also plan to watch the documentary Children of the Camps.
Published: 2011 Read: July 2013 Genre: historical fiction