This is one of the okayest books I have ever read. That sounds mean maybe, and I am not trying be, but that’s what it is. At the end, I was like, yes ok, I read that. That book. The one I read.
The story is about Japanese Internment, with especial focus on the order, the disappearance of a father, the children affected, and the accompanying racist milieu in the country at large.
This is obviously a relevant topic today for plenty of reasons. We have the recent upholding of the ban of the ban by the appeals court, and we have the larger issue related to how we clearly have a fascist turd in the White House. But one thing we don’t ever talk about…and this novel doesn’t really get into it either, was how wide-spread the anti-Japanese sentiment was in this country. Roosevelt was in on it, and hell, Dr. Suess was in on it.
Again, that is not the mission of this novel. Nor should it be. This is a small novel about big things. It does a very good job of creating a simple, stark picture of the feelings connected with the events. The family’s story, the ways in which they responded to the climate, and how the events changed them are competently told. And like I said, it’s a perfectly ok novel.
It’s not underwhelming at all. It’s perfectly whelming. It does exactly what it wants to do, and even only spends 140 doing it. It’s a polite reading experience in that way.
It has its deep limitation given its form and content, but that’s also just ok.