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Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Copy Provided By: Author
Different eyes and skin
Mock me from the mirror’s light
Enemy am I.
Dec 7, 1941
Today my life changed forever . . . I am no longer considered American, but by shear heritage I am now the hated enemy . . .
The lives of Kenji and Aiko Onishi and their American-born children are about to unravel when the United States is thrust into war with Japan. Confronted by insurmountable prejudice and fear, the family is ripped from their California home without just cause by the American government and sent to an assembly center “for their own protection.”
Forced to live in deplorable circumstances, every aspect of their lives regulated and controlled, the Onishi’s freedoms are stripped from their grasp as they struggle to survive behind barbed wire. It isn’t long before the mind-numbing confinement and feelings of helplessness begin to pit the family against one another.
When sent to a relocation camp in the center of the Utah desert, they’re beset by ever increasing emotional and physical challenges, and Aiko is faced with her greatest yet: to mend the broken spirits of her family, or risk losing them forever.
Based on true and tragic events that transpired during World War II, Rising Sun, Falling Star is a heart-rending story of one family’s struggle to survive uncalculated loss and emotional destruction.
Rising Sun, Falling Star is a book that instantly grabbed my attention the moment it crossed my path. I've always been interested in the Japanese Concentration camps and how this part of American History is often overlooked by so many. Before I start my review I would like to say that I've been to Pearl Harbor, I've seen what the Japanese did. Even to this day you can see buildings covered with bullet holes. During a visit to the memorial I myself even heard an Elder Japanese tourist proclaim to her Granddaughter quite loudly how that day was a proud day for Japan. However, as bad as Pearl Harbor was what happened to these Japanese Americans was in many ways much worse. While this book may be considered Historical Fiction many of the events and experiences that transpire within the pages were real. With that being said, here is my review:
Rising Sun, Falling Star follows the lives of the Onishi family from the start of America's participation in WWII to the end. In many ways this book read like a Lifetime movie of the week. I'll admit even though the topic interests me I wasn't really feeling the story in the beginning. Meri was a bit insufferable and the parents broken English was a bit hard to read through. Well let me tell you I was glad I stuck this one out. Rising Sun, Falling Star is a beautifully written tale of love, death, courage and honor during one of America's darkest periods in History.
As stated above I didn't quite like Meri in the beginning. However, as the book goes on she became one of my favorite characters. Meri wasn't perfect and believe me it showed yet somehow despite all the ups and downs her life takes from depression, first love and heartbreak Meri comes out changed for the better in the end. I also loved Meri's mother Aiko. She lost so much throughout the story and through it all keeps her head held high and her family intact. Her sense of Honor and duty never wavered and I found myself wanting to know this woman more. I wish the ending had given us glimpses into the lives of the Onishi family after the war ended. I would of liked to see what happened to all of them.
Another thing I really liked about Rising Sun, Falling Star was the world building. While I believe the book at times played it safe it also did show the horrible conditions and prejudices many Japanese Americans faced before, during and immediately following the war.
My only complaint with Rising Sun, Falling Star was the length. I found myself bored during scenes that only involved the family doing daily chores or work related jobs. I understand that the story was being told through the entire time the family was detained but many parts of the book felt like filler and for me that dragged the pacing of the story down at times.
Overall, despite my very small annoyances I really loved Rising Sun, Falling Star. I believe wholeheartedly that this should be a book everyone reads at least once. The writing was beautiful, the story heartbreaking and the situations real. With that being said, I will be rating Rising Sun, Falling Star by Vickie Hall ★★★★★.
Author Bio & Follow Links
Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she’s not writing, she’s composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.
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