Thursday, 14 March 2013

Garden of stones

Garden of Stones
By Sophie Littlefield
 This author weaves a powerful tale of stolen innocence and survival that echoes through generations, reverberating between mothers and daughters. 

It is a moving chronicle of injustice, triumph and the unspeakable acts we commit in the name of love.

Lucy Takeda is just fourteen years old, living in Los Angeles, when the Japanese bomb the American fleet anchored at Pearl Harbour. 
 Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are taken from their home, with thousands of other innocent Japanese-Americans-and entered in the Manzanar prison camp. 

Lucy and Miyako endure blistering heat and harsh living conditions within the camp. Where corruption is rampant and day to day life is a mission for Manzanar to protect her daughter.

In Manzanar Lucy witnesses great brutality and prejudice. She bears witness to the rape and continued sexual abuse of her mother, not to mention the sexual abuse of her only friend, sixteen year-old Jessie, at the hands of the men in charge at the camp. She also slowly watches her mother fall into deep depression that results in a horrible accident that will scar Lucy for life, a murder, and then her mother's suicide.

With the help of a nun, Lucy is eventually able to leave Manzanar before the war ends. She is given a job as a maid at a small hotel, where she eventually befriends the cook and her family, as well as the owner of the hotel, an injured war veteran, Garvey.

Fast forward to 1978 and Lucy's daughter, Patty, is preparing to get married. Days before the wedding is to occur, Lucy is being questioned and investigated as the prime suspect in a murder case. The murder victim just so happens to be one of the men that had been charged with overseeing Manzanar. Patty Takeda is already on edge about the wedding and she knows that her mother is keeping secrets. 

Will she be able to uncover those secrets in time to save her mother or will those secrets destroy what little peace of mind Lucy has obtained since 1944?
This remarkable storyteller has created characters and a story that drew me in from the very beginning. Lucy’s story is told in flashbacks, alternating between 1943-1944 and 1978. Lucy Takeda is a victim of circumstance, but she overcomes her adversity to make a life for herself and her child. Her physical and emotional scars are a testimony to her suffering during her lifetime. 

If you enjoy historical dramas this will not disappoint, with suspense and hint of romance, Garden of Stones is a must read.

Read an excerpt:

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