(The following is a customer review from one Joan Zabelka. Sharon came across it while looking for something else and thought it was so well written, she passed it along to me. Joan kindly said we could reprint it here.)
"The cover is awful. I would have passed right by this disturbing picture and moved on to something more appealing. Fortunately, I had to read this for a class.I had to move beyond the cover and I'm so glad I did.
Okada's story is about starting over - starting over when you don't want to, starting over when you don't even know where to begin, starting over when ending it all is a viable option.
Set in post World War II, it tells the story of Ichiro, a twenty something Japanese man who returns from prison after refusing to serve in the army. Life in the internment camp and prison could not compare to the torture chamber that he set up in his own mind. Will he ever be able to move beyond his mother's dream of returning to Japan towards his own desire to feel truly American.
Second generation immigrants will be able to identify with Ichiro. Living with one foot in each world is not an easy task. Any one who is on a journey of starting over or rediscovering who they are will be encouraged by Ichiro's journey." - Joan Zabelka
There is no way I could've said that better myself.