Tag Archives: garden of stones

Garden of Stones- Sophie Littleford


Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge by the publishers (via netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (from Amazon)

In the dark days of war, a mother makes the ultimate sacrifice Lucy Takeda is just fourteen years old, living in Los Angeles, when the bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are ripped from their home, rounded up—along with thousands of other innocent Japanese-Americans—and taken to the Manzanar prison camp. Buffeted by blistering heat and choking dust, Lucy and Miyako must endure the harsh living conditions of the camp. Corruption and abuse creep into every corner of Manzanar, eventually ensnaring beautiful, vulnerable Miyako. Ruined and unwilling to surrender her daughter to the same fate, Miyako soon breaks.

 

Review.

 

It’s taken me quite a while to get around to reviewing this book.

 

It’s the first I’ve read about Japanese living in allied countries during World War Two, I read a lot of WW2 fiction but most of it is based in the UK or Germany. Part of what I liked about it was how it seemed to show that it wasn’t just the Nazis who discriminated. Not that the prison camps were anything compared to German concentration camps, but that people were treated as enemies just because they were of Japanese heritage.

 

Some of the story was interesting. The atmosphere of the camps was well written, and you could imagine what horrible places they were to live in. The actual events that happened in the camp seemed a bit much though. I am not debating whether or not those types of things may or may not have happened but it seems a lot for one person to be involved in. I almost got the sense that Littleford couldn’t make enough of one story so decided to knit a few together.

 

If that was indeed what she did the stories were linked fairly well, but made the ‘secret’ somewhat predictable. My only doubts when it came to what I thought the secret was came from having been told early on that something else was the answer to what had happened.

 

At the time I rather enjoyed this book, but having waited to write my review, and starting Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet since have slowly worn down my opinion. I am glad I read it because I wouldn’t have known to read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet without it, and it opened my eyes to less told stories.

 

However I didn’t really get that strong a sense of how it felt to be Japanese at that time. This novel started off being historical, but became a mystery somewhere along the line and I would rather have just had a historical novel.

 

Oh and the whole way through I did not like the cover, the girl on the front is just too young looking. It’s not something that would have stopped me picking it up however.

 

3.5/5

 

This book is released in paperback on 19th February and on Kindle on 1st March. You can pre-order now from amazon:
Paperback (£8.28)
Kindle (£5.59)

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Filed under Fiction review, Historical, Mystery

It’s Monday. What are You Reading? 26/11/12


It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Bookjourneygo there to add your link 🙂

Currently Reading

All About Love: The Anatomy of An Unruly Emotion- Lisa Appignanesi. This is a book about the mind, psychology and love. So far she seems to be drawing a lot on personal experience, and there is only a very personal psychology element, but I am only about 18 pages in! I picked it up in a bookshop all the way back in January and started reading it right there but somehow never went back to it until now. It’s been a long time since I read a psychology book so I’m looking forward to this one.

Garden of Stones- Sophie Littleford I go an advance copy of this via netgalley. I have pretty much finished it already even though I only started it late on Saturday, but probably won’t post the review until February (when t is out in the UK). It’s the story of Lucy a Japanese-American living in America during the second world war. After Pearl Harbour Japanese-Americans as suspected of being spies and sent to detainment camps. Lucy and her mother are amongst these people. Garden of Stones follows Lucy through the camp and how she tries to reconstruct her life afterwards. So far it hasn’t been exactly as I had expected, but it is very moving and I am really enjoying it.

Finished Last Week.

The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde most people know the basics of this story. Dorian Gray has a portait of himself which ages whilst he stays young. I enjoyed this a fair bit despite expecting it to be a bit more sci-f based. It was scay in it’s own way, and some points were frankly disturbing. Indeed a death in The Picture of Dorian Gray was featured in Shortlist’s 40 Most Gruesome Deaths recently (beware spoilers!) and although I don’t agree with all of them, this one I do.

Reviews

The Thief- Fuminori Nakamura was a book I enjoyed but didn’t quite meet up to my expectations. It is the story of a Japanese pickpocket who manages to get himself involved in a political scandal.

Hurry Home Spider- David Crossley was my Children’s Hour pick last week. It follows a spider on his journey home, and all the dangers he encounters.

Added to the TBR

The Horologicon- Mark Forsyth I loved The Etymologicon when I read it a few weeks ago, and was super excited when my request to The Horologicon from netgalley was accepted. I can’t wait to get started on this one. As with The Etymologicon this book is all about words. This time about forgotten words.

The Complication of Sisters- Katherine Mariaca-Sullivan Was given to me by the author for review. It contains a number of short stories all about sisters.

 

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Filed under It's Monday! Waht are you reading?, Memes

It’s Monday. What are You Reading?


I’ve been thinking about joining in with one of these memes for a while seeing as I quite often seem to comment on them. A lot of people seem to participate in Bookjourney’s It’s Monday! What are you reading? so I thought I would try that one out. I don’t think I’ll participate every week, but we will see how it goes. Today seems like a good day to start seeing as I have the day off (yet I still didn’t decde to take part until almost 11 pm…barely any Monday left!)

Currently Reading

All About Love: The Anatomy of An Unruly Emotion- Lisa Appignanesi. This is a book about the mind, psychology and love. So far she seems to be drawing a lot on personal experience, and there is only a very personal psychology element, but I am only about 18 pages in! I picked it up in a bookshop all the way back in January and started reading it right there but somehow never went back to it until now. It’s been a long time since I read a psychology book so I’m looking forward to this one.

The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde is another one which has been on the TBR pile for almost a year. I downloaded it free to my kindle when I got it (the kindle) in December, but it has been on my wishlist since I started The Rory List. In fact it was someone on BCF who started me wanting to read The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Finished Last Week.

Irv’s Odyssey: Lost In a Looking Glass- Irv H. Polodsky is the story of a film graduate who wants nothing more than to make meaningful films but cannot get a break. Desperate for money he agrees to start directing porography, and when that becomes to much he makes a move to working as an aide in a mental hospital. My full review of this should be up tomorrow, but for now just know I fairly well enjoyed it.

The Thief- Fuminori Nakamura features a skilled pickpocket who manages to get himself into a mafia type gang and political intrigue. The book had some good things I hadn’t expected but also left out elements I expected. My review should be out later this week.

Reviews

The Etymologicon- Mark Forsyth was a book I loved. It’s all about words and how they came to be.

Come on Daisy- Jane Simmons was my Children’s Hour pick last week. It follows Daisy’s journey accross the pond which she gets so involved in that she looses sight of Mummy duck.

Added to the TBR

Reservation Road- John Burnham Schwartz was sent to me by the lovely people from Corsair for review. I have the sequel, Northwest Corner on the TBR pile from them already but wanted to read Reservation Road first. Follows the story of two people following a hit and run. It follows the father of the boy who is killed as he searches for the killer, and follows the hit and run drier himself.

Garden of Stones- Sophie Littlefield was given to me by Harlequin via netgalley. It follows the story of a Japanese-American woman and her daughter who are sent to Manzanar prison camp after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbour. I’m interested in reading this one as it isn’t a part of history you see covered that much, but it’s still from my favourite era for historical fiction to be based in.

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Filed under It's Monday! Waht are you reading?, Memes