Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family in 1941 is everything it “should be” until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.
Degrading treatment make life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world are treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out on behalf of all Japanese Americans, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.
With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their values and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.
sighs This book!!!! beams with love for the story It was so good, so bad, and so wonderful. It showed one of many little known, thought of, or shared mistakes in America’s past, yes, not everyone felt as some people did but many wrongs were committed during WWII on both sides, and this book shows the hardships that Japanese, Germans, Italians, and many more people went through under the misguided beliefs of Americans.
This book is heartbreaking in the truths it has, the actions of so many breaking up so many families, holding so many prisoners, it makes my heart break for what happened when many were innocent. This is a powerful Young Adult historical fiction that I nearly did not read since I dislike most young adult fiction but this is one I feel everyone should read, learn from, and work to put mistakes right.
Rating: 5 stars.
Recommendation: 13 up due to romance and violence.
Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (King James Version.)