Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Little Exile by Jeanette Arakawa

I’ve always known the broad story of Japanese internment during the Second World War, both at home in Canada and next door in the United States.

The Little Exile by Jeanette Arakawa brings this tragic time to life through a unique novel that carries a lot of reality in its pages.

The Little Exile traces aftermath of this shift from normal child to prisoner through various camps and ultimately a return to freedom. It’s an illuminating glimpse inside a stolen life.

The book collects short vignettes from the life of Marie Mitsui and her family. Each of these stories — whether it’s making a new friend, seeing an old one move away, or buying a coat — pile up into an incredible story that closely mirrors the author’s own life.

One big idea The Little Exile hits home with incredible power is a simple one — the shock of how someone growing up American and considering themselves just like every other kid in the neighbourhood is suddenly an enemy. I’d never considered that perspective before.

It’s an eye opener - and well worth investigating.

Note: Stone Bridge Press provided me a review copy.

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