Thursday 20 December 2012

Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield - Book Review

Title: Garden of Stones
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: January 2013
Pages: 287
Format: Paperback
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

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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.

Bestselling author Sophie Littlefield weaves a powerful tale of stolen innocence and survival that echoes through generations, reverberating between mothers and daughters. It is a moving chronicle of injustice, triumph and the unspeakable acts we commit in the name of love. (Goodreads Synopsis)

This book gripped me right from page one. I had actually never heard about the rounding up of Japanese-Americans before, so it was interesting to learn more about the history of it all. Certainly, it paints the USA in a bad light.

The characters in this story are fascinating, well-written and believable. You really feel for both Miyako and Lucy as they deal with the blows life has dealt them. The book is a very character-driven piece and the reader can absolutely relate to them from start to finish.

All the way through, I was hoping they'd succeed in escaping their fate. As to whether they do or not - you'll have to read the book for yourself. But I can say that, for me, the ending was bittersweet and I wished things had worked out a little differently.

I can highly recommend this book for fans of character-orientated literary fiction and historical fiction. It is a poignant tale and one that will definitely stay with me.

My thanks go out to Harlequin for the review copy.

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