BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES
This WWII novel has a refreshingly different point of view. The main focus is on an interracial couple, and much of the tale explores the shameful wartime treatment of Japanese-Americans. Though the war drives much of the action, the real story lies in the relationship between Maddie and her Japanese beau, as well as each one’s relationship with the other’s family, and the rest of society during an especially xenophobic period. A wonderfully poignant tale, it’s at times terribly dramatic and others beautifully gentle.
When American Maddie Kern and Lane Moritomo, son of Japanese immigrants, elope in secret, they don’t expect approval from their families. But what they really aren’t prepared for is the bombing of Pearl Harbor the day after their nuptials. The young couple immediately face racism masquerading as patriotism and fractured families, then later internment, a battle to stay together, and even battles to stay alive amid violence on both the front lines and the home front. (KENSINGTON, Mar., 452 pp., $15.00)