I believe it is important to learn the lessons history teaches us. Understandably, our perspectives of war are often one-sided. Otsuka’s book provides an opportunity to learn about the experiences of Japanese Americans living in the U.S. during World War II.
This is a sorrowful story about a Japanese family who find themselves torn apart when they are forced to live in internment camps in New Mexico and Utah. After the father is taken away in the night by the FBI, his wife and two children are left on their own to survive without him throughout the war in a camp in the desert in Utah.
The book is very well written. I wanted the ending to be different and was a bit disappointed in the last few paragraphs. However, the story brings home the plight of the innocent imprisoned people and the reader can feel their enforced hardships. I learned about fear from this novel and one of the unfortunate ways our country responded to it after Pearl Harbor. How ironic it is that FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” in his first inaugural address.
Please Listen: http://youtu.be/JiCCXImRpeA