Review: It’s hard to explain the plot of this book; it has none and yet, it’s a story unlike any other. Told in First Person Plural, the book is divided into eight chapters: Come, Japanese / First Night / Whites / Babies / The Children / Traitors / Last Day / A Disappearance. Each chapter covers a particular part of life, a gathering of many experiences, told by the voices of many women. First, the women came over from Japan as picture brides, crowded into great steam liners. From there, we follow them through the first night of their marriage, their life working in America, birthing babies and the people these babies would grow into. Then, Pearl Harbor, and the internment of the Japanese. There is more pain then joy in these chapters, these voices, these stories. This is not a pleasant book. There is too much reality to be so. There is joy, but it is laced with suffering, with resignation, with hardship and sacrifice. Otsuka has given a voice to people whose story would be lost otherwise. Worth readying, particularly in today’s volatile social and political climate. The lives of these women have much to share and much to teach.
Bookmarks: 4.5 of 5
Awards: Prix Femina Étranger 2012, France , Pen/Faulker Award for Fiction, 2012
Year Published: 2011
Date Finished: 2-6-2017