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Words, Worlds, Whorls

A place where I write reviews and keep track of what I want to read or have already read.

Garden of Stones

Garden of Stones - Sophie Littlefield Like almost every American student of my generation, I had to read "Farewell to Manzanar" for school; in my case, 7th grade. I was twelve, and to be honest I remember nothing about the book other than how depressing it was. Manzanar was a travesty, a horrific aspect of American history that they teach us about in order to make sure we don't repeat our mistakes. When we went to war against "terrorism," Americans may have felt like putting people of Middle Eastern heritage in concentration camps, but they didn't. Because I guess Americans can occasionally learn from their mistakes. I know, I'm shocked too.When a man is murdered at his place of work, Lucy Takeda becomes a suspect in his death. She knew him from Manzanar, though she claims she hasn't seen him in years. A witness, however, places her at the scene of the crime shortly after it was committed. Lucy's daughter, against her mother's wishes, starts her own investigation into what this man meant to Lucy, and ends up getting more than she bargained for. Told largely through flashbacks, we learned of the abuse Lucy and her mother, Miyako, suffered while at the camp, and then later when Lucy leaves to work at a nearby motel. It's a story of the power of beauty, and how that power can become a detriment rather than a benefit.Occasionally I got frustrated with some of the characters and their actions. Additionally the resolution of the murder case felt altogether too contrived and easy. But the murder wasn't the point, the abuse and horror suffered was. Overall, I found myself engaged with the characters and the story as a whole.