Friday, September 28, 2012

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

I nominated this book for one of my book group reads, and I'm so glad that I did. It was a very quick read, and the style of this writing is pretty unusual. However, the unusual format, the author's way of making individual statements within a setting where the same thing is happening to everyone is extremely powerful.

This book follows the journey of some Japanese mail order brides from Japan to California. The journey does not end there. These families are subjected to what equals imprisonment by their new government after the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, and the US entry into World War 2.

I was reading this on my Kindle, so I really had no idea when I began what a short book it was...more of a novella, really. But I devoured every word. Beautifully written, this is another one of those novels that should be used in high schools in this country to teach in a sensitive way about the pain our own government inflicted out of nothing but fear and suspicion, and how we must never inflict this kind of pain and heartbreak on our own citizens ever again. I plan on reading her other book, When the Emperor Was Divine in the not too distant future.

5 stars

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