Garden of Stones
by Sophie Littlefield
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary (by the publisher):
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.
Review: 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. (Sorry, Becky!) 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 distracting and even unrelated until the very end of the story. And although Lucy was a strong and likeable character as a child, she didn't seem to have a voice at all in the flash-forward parts of the story, and so it was hard to get a sense of her as an adult. While I expect that the troubles Lucy and her mother encountered in the camp were depressingly possible, I found her story too bleak and the ending too hopeless to make this book enjoyable to me.
Rating: 3 stars