Maddie used to tag along behind big brother TJ and his buddy, Lane Moritomo, but as the aspiring violinist matured, she and Lane discovered they were much more than friends. Lane, whose stiff and formal Japanese mother and banker father have announced plans to marry their son to a Japanese bride, knows that if he wants to marry Maddie the time is now. But it is December 1941, and interracial marriage is not legal in California. Nineteen-year-old Maddie and Lane must go to neighboring Washington State to wed before Lane returns for his final semester of college. The morning after their wedding the unthinkable happens when the Japanese nation attacks the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, plunging the nation into war and launching an unrelenting hatred directed toward the thousands of Japanese-Americans who live in the U.S. Packed off to a relocation camp after his father's detention, Lane urges Maddie to divorce him, but she's unwilling to let go of the man she loves and decides, instead, to join him there. Fighting dehumanizing conditions, TJ's disapproval and her mother-in-law's aloofness, Maddie follows her husband's family, setting the stage for a sweeping story of two families in wartime America and the paths they take while the world is up-in-arms. McMorris, who is of Japanese-American heritage, creates a believable world, taking readers from the camps to the Pacific Theater during the height of the war and into the heart of the Midwest, all while perfectly capturing the flavor of the period.
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