Publication Date: 19 March 2019
Copy from Netgalley.com and Berkley
“We decide who and what we will love and who and what we will hate. We decide what to do with the love and hate. Everyday we decide.”
Elise Sontag’s life was forever changed one February afternoon during 1943 when the FBI arrested her father, Otto, for allegedly engaging in subversive activity against the United States. The longer Otto is gone, the more difficult and complex Elise’s life becomes. Her fragile mother barely hangs on as she struggles to hold their small family together.
As Otto makes arrangements for the family to once again be together, he is compelled to make the choice to move his family to an internment camp in Texas. In August of 1843 the family moves to Crystal City internment camp and begin their life of captivity which will last until 1945. The camp brings Mariko Inoue, a young Japanese American girl, into Elise’s life. The girls become best friends sharing school, secrets, and teenage life in this small, walled off world while the WWII rages on.
The year 1945 brings repatriation to Germany for Elise and her family and a return to Japan for Mariko Inoue and her family. The last year of the war results in vastly different lives for both young women, forever touched by the bonds of their friendship.
The story starts out slowly, but the tale becomes much more engrossing as the story weaves its way from Davenport, Iowa to Crystal City, Texas and on to Pforzheim, Germany. The historical details are richly woven into the fiction. The principles of friendship, love, loss, and the tragedies of war blend together to add depth to the novel. I would definitely recommend this book to readers of historical fiction, particularly those who enjoy WWII.
I received this book free from Berkley and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own.
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