Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo. Her brother's best friend, Lane is the handsome, ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie was prepared for disapproval from their families, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, the full force of their decision becomes apparent. In the eyes of a fearful nation, Lane is no longer just an outsider, but an enemy.
When her husband is interned at a war relocation camp, Maddie follows, sacrificing her Juilliard ambitions. Behind barbed wire, tension simmers and the line between patriot and traitor blurs. As Maddie strives for the hard-won acceptance of her new family, Lane risks everything to prove his allegiance to America, at tremendous cost.
Skillfully capturing one of the most controversial episodes in recent American history, Kristina McMorris draws readers into a novel filled with triumphs and heartbreaking loss--an authentic, moving testament to love, forgiveness, and the enduring music of the human spirit.
My take on this book:
If I had to describe this book in two words it would be soul stirring. The author weaves a tale of love and loss, set during a very tumultuous time in our countries history.
From the age of nine when Maddie Kern's father gave her a used violin it became her goal to enter into Juilliard. After the death of her mother, her father changed and her brother TJ started looking out for her, and thought that her dating anyone would be a distraction from her future plans. By the age of nineteen though she has fallen in love with Lane Moritomo , a handsome Japanese/American who also happens to be TJ's friend. They have kept their dating a secret though,and when Lane's parents inform him that they are arranging a marriage for him TJ and Maddie decide to elope, and then Pearl Harbor is bombed and their lives change forever!
What an amazing story. It was easy to see that the author really did her research with this story, I actually felt like I was getting a history lesson while reading this remarkable story. I was often shocked and appalled at how Japanese/American's were treated, and that fact really hit home for me when the government went in and searched Lane's parents home and found his model plane diagrams, something so simple caused them to be treated as the enemy. Lane was such a wonderful character always looking out for everyone else, and the love story between him and Maddie was just amazing. This was such a thought provoking story that really captured my heart. I found myself thinking about the characters long after I finished the final page. I think this book would be a wonderful read for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, and the discussion questions makes this book perfect for a group read. I also enjoyed reading the author's notes at the end of the story.
Overall "Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves"is a must read story that I highly recommend.
About the author:
The recipient of nearly twenty national literary awards, Kristina McMorris is the author of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, declared a "gripping story [that] hits all the right chords" by Publishers Weekly and a "sweeping yet intimate novel" by Kirkus Reviews. Her critically praised debut novel, Letters from Home, inspired by her grandparents' WWII courtship, achieved additional acclaim as a Reader's Digest Select Editions feature, a Doubleday/Literary Guild selection, and a 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards semifinalist for Best Historical Fiction. A host of weekly TV shows since age nine, including an Emmy® Award-winning program, Kristina has been named one of Portland's "40 Under 40" by The Business Journal. She lives with her husband and two sons in the Pacific Northwest, where she refuses to own an umbrella.
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A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.