Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-01-09
- Reviewer: Staff
McMorris’s second novel (after Letters from Home), portraying the intertwined fates of two American families in Southern California during WWII, gracefully blossoms through swift prose and rich characters. Maddie Kern, talented violinist and Juilliard hopeful, has only her older brother, TJ, to rely on after their mother’s untimely death and their father’s hospitalization. Because of this, she keeps her relationship with TJ’s best friend, “Lane” Moritomo, hidden until the two decide to elope. Their marriage is cut short by the attack on Pearl Harbor, a day with major repercussions for the Kerns and the Moritomos. Divided by racism and faced with the “exodus of an entire race,” Lane must choose between his American future with Maddie and the history and honor of his Japanese family, while TJ searches for purpose in his life by enlisting. Maddie stands to lose everything if she does nothing, and in her courageous choices and sacrifices, McMorris delivers suspense and compassion. She draws eloquently on language—Japanese proverbs, the measurements of music, the jargon of war and baseball—to illustrate her insights into human nature. Though the prose is too often hackneyed, this gripping story about two “brothers” in arms and a young woman caught in between them hits all the right chords. Agent: Jennifer Schober, Spencerhill Associates. (Mar.)