Rising Sun, Falling Star
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.
My Review: It's December 7, 1941 and for Meri Onishi life is completely normal and happy. She's 15 and she and her best friend Karen are going to church together. What she doesn't realize is that life for her and for her family is going to change in an instant. After news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor gets out, it seems everyone in San Francisco feels that they can be rude to the Japanese living there, even if they are American citizens like Meri and her brothers are. Life becomes very scary, they never know if someone is going to be rude to them or kind and her father never knows if the government is going to come and take him away or if a gang is going to come drag him from his music store and beat him to death. The family is eventually forced to enter an interment camp in California. Conditions there are unbearable for anyone, but especially for those used to a normal American life. With her family's future uncertain, Meri must learn to adapt and accept all of the changes in her life including losing her home, her best friend, high school hopes, and everything she holds dear.
I was aware that the Japanese people were forced to leave their homes and go to internment camps, but I was completely unaware of how bad the conditions in those camps would have been for those people who had done nothing wrong. They basically had the misfortune to have either been born in the wrong country themselves or have had parents or grandparents born in the wrong country. Either way this was a dark time for our country and it was just plain wrong to have treated the Japanese people this way. I guess I can kind of see the other side of the story too, but it still doesn't seem like they should have been treated this way. I enjoyed learning more about this dark time and getting to know the fictional Mari and her family. Thanks to Vickie Hall for opening my eyes about this time period.
I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Author Vickie Hall
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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Labels: Historical fiction, Vickie Hall