Sunday, October 26, 2008 by Teddy Rose
Vivid and Beautiful
The year is 1954 and Kabuo Miyamoto a Japanese American fisherman is standing trial for murder in small town in Puget Sound Washington. Up until World War II, his family was growing strawberries and making payments towards owning the land they lived and worked on. With the onset so the war left for the land, they were sent away to a Japanese internment camp. After the war ended they came back to Puget Sound only to find the land that they had struggled for was sold.
The narrator of the story was the journalist covering the trial, Ishmael Chambers. As a child, he played with and later fell in love with Hatsue. When she was sent to the Japanese internment camp with her family, she sent Ishmael a "Dear John" letter. When she returned to Puget Sound, she was married to Kabuo Miyamoto.
Ishmael never stopped loving Hatsue and may be the only one to be able to uncover the truth and set Kabuo free. Will he let his feelings get in the way of doing the right thing? My lips are sealed.
This is a book of love, friendship, betrayal, honor, tradition, and racism. David’s Guterson’s characters ring true to me. His writing flows beautifully as he peels away the layers of the town and it’s inhabitants. This is a fast reading book that I didn’t want to put down. I highly recommend it!