With her usual skill and sensitivity, Garrigue has written a moving story about the experience of Japanese-Canadians after...

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THE ETERNAL SPRING OF MR. ITO

With her usual skill and sensitivity, Garrigue has written a moving story about the experience of Japanese-Canadians after the bombing of Pearl Harbor that propelled the US headlong into WW II. This experience is seen from the perspective of Sara, an evacuee who is living with her uncle's family, the Camerons, in Vancouver. Sara has become friends with the family gardener, Mr. Ito, a meticulous, gentle, spiritual man who served his adopted country with distinction during WW I. Mr. Ito, his wife and their Canadian-born children are a happy, successful family--peaceful, patriotic and secure. From Mr. Ito, Sara learns about Japanese culture and religion. He also teaches her how to grow her own bonsai tree, a labor of love and of the spirit, and shows her his precious heirloom--the aiguromatsu--a majestic bonsai which has been in the Ito family for generations. The harmony between the Itos and the Camerons is threatened by Pearl Harbor and shattered by the death of cousin Mary's fiance, a soldier killed by the Japanese in Hong Kong. Still, Sara cannot understand the sometimes violent hostility shown toward the Japanese-Canadians in Vancouver, nor why they must be interned. Although forbidden, she visits the Itos before their departure and learns that Mr. Ito, refusing to be interned, has disappeared. He has determined his own fate, but the fate of the treasured aiguromatsu depends on Sara. Her courageous attempt to return the tree to the Itos provides the richly rewarding climax of the story. Because she has written an enjoyable story with interesting characters and a truly likable heroine, Garrigue makes it easy for readers to absorb some invaluable lessons on the importance of promoting peace, tolerance and understanding.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1985

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1985