My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Historical fiction is definitely my favorite genre, and this book is a perfect example of why I am enthralled by this genre. When I was in high school, I took advanced U.S. history, and we did cover the WWII period. In our book, there was on paragraph on the internment of Japanese Americans during this war, and I knew it was an injustice to be sure. However, until I picked up this book, I was completely unaware of the depth of oppression these people endured. This book was one of the hardest I have had to read in quite some time. I found myself incensed after reading a chapter or so at a time, and I had to set the book down to recover. I found myself discussing the book in great detail with my mom, and I was able to instruct her on this horrific period of U.S. history. I was ashamed many times as I realized that my race (even within my state) had treated these loyal Americans this way due merely to their heritage.
I was thoroughly immersed in the stories and families of this novel, and Vickie Hall was very skilful at demonstrating the suffering of these people. I would always think, “It can’t get any worse,” and then it would! She told the stories in such a way that I felt I was experiencing the lives of these people firsthand. At the end of the book, she explained her the historicity of this book, and I knew it was well-researched. I don’t understand why this period of history is “glossed” over and why school children are not taught about this in history. A proper study of civil rights should include this compulsory study of the treatment of all people, not just one race. According to my mom, racial prejudice against Asian Americans still exists to this day, and it was even a part of my culture as I grew up (I was completely unaware of this). If I ever get the chance to teach children in a history class, I would make it a point to cover this portion of history.
There are honestly no potentially offensive elements in this book except that of racial prejudice. No profanity, no sex, and I believe the author to be a Christian as she made the main family a Christian, church-going family. There is no preaching in the book, but it is clear that faith is what carried these families through their dark moments. Indeed this is a book I would recommend to anyone!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.