Lucy and Miyako are living during an unfortunate time period. Pearl Harbor has just been bombed. Soon they find themselves in the Manzanar prison camp, where they have a less-than-savory experience. The internment camp, Manzanar, is aimed at preventing terrorists (and anyone else the government deems necessary to accuse) from damaging the USA war effort. Unfortunately, the camps were formed based on racial profiling and not actual terrorist activity. Miyako must keep her young daughter safe and undamaged by the corruption that goes on in the camp. She takes on any and all burdens that fall on her and her daughter, eventually coming apart at the seams. Miyako’s terrible past affects Lucy and forms her into the interesting, somewhat hard to like – and hard to dislike at the same time – character that she is.
Miyako and Lucy will become friends of the reader with ease. Full of personality and spirit in the beginning of the novel, it feels like nothing can hurt them. Later on, the reader realizes just how fragile they – and people in general – are. These two are impossible to root for. The other characters will affect the reader in a variety of ways depending on how they affect Miyako and Lucy. This isn’t a “quick read” that the reader can put down easily and is guaranteed to affect pretty much anyone.
The main portion of Garden of Stones concerns the Japanese-American experience during WWII. The latter portion is more of a murder mystery and feels like it is lost in light of the Japanese-American experience. Readers will learn a little about Japanese culture as well as some other very interesting history lessons. Overall, the author delivers a painful, emotional novel with two very memorable characters.
Krystal is a young college student who loves meeting new authors and finding great books! Her favorite place to read is the Botanic Gardens.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Kaye Publicity. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.