Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Loved this novel: Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield

How far would you go as a mother to keep your child safe from harm? What could you be driven to do, if like Miyako Takeda in Sophie Littlefield’s beautifully rendered and touching novel, Garden of Stones, you knew that, ultimately, you could not be there to protect your young daughter from the horrible assault you know lies in wait for her? The answers to these questions would be difficult enough under ordinary circumstances, during peace time. But for Miyako and her daughter, Lucy, who are imprisoned and subjected to the inhuman treatment those of Japanese descent endured while they were kept in the U.S. interment camps during World War II, the times are anything but ordinary. When the story opens, it is some thirty years later, and a man, an American, who was associated with the camp, is found murdered. It’s a mystery and a source of terrible concern to Patty, Lucy’s daughter, when her mother is implicated. Unaware of much of her mother’s and her grandmother’s painful history, Patty assumes her investigation into the matter will prove her mother’s innocence. But what Patty learns, through a series of shattering revelations, will alter forever her ideas about herself and her courageous and lovely mother and grandmother. In this poignant narrative, a tragic history is recounted, and the true bravery of women and mothers is explored; there is the murder of a man, too. The ending contains unexpected twists, and a haunting question: Who is really responsible? Who committed the more heinous crime?

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