Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield

Paperback, Kindle, or Nook formats
320 pages
Publisher: Harlequin (Feb.2013)

* I received a complimentary e-book copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

Critically acclaimed author Sophie Littlefield brings the 1940s to life in this intense account of innocent Japanese-Americans moved to the Manzanar prison camp, in GARDEN OF STONES, a harrowing and beautifully woven novel about the vagaries of war, the injustice of racism and a young girl’s search for hope and forgiveness. 
IN THE DARK DAYS WAR, A MOTHER MAKES THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
Lucy Takeda is just fourteen years old, living in Los Angeles in 1941, when the bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are ripped from their home, rounded up—along with thousands of other innocent Japanese-Americans—and taken to the Manzanar prison camp.
Buffeted by blistering heat and choking dust, Lucy and Miyako must endure the harsh living conditions of the camp. Corruption and abuse creep into every corner of Manzanar, eventually ensnaring beautiful, vulnerable Miyako. Ruined and unwilling to surrender her daughter to the same fate, Miyako soon breaks. Her final act of desperation will stay with Lucy forever...and spur her to sins of her own.
Bestselling author Sophie Littlefield weaves a powerful tale of stolen innocence and survival that echoes through generations, reverberating between mothers and daughters. It is a moving chronicle of injustice, triumph and the unspeakable acts we commit in the name of love.

Review:

The book travels back and forth between 1978 San Francisco and 1941-43 when Pearl Harbor was attacked and Lucy and her mother were sent to Manzanar. It opens in 1978 when a former employee of Manzanar was murdered and Lucy becomes a suspect. The book is less a mystery than I thought it would be but it's other aspects kept my attention; even though it dragged a little toward the middle. How Lucy and her mother coped with their situation was a harrowing journey. I felt what they were feeling as if it was happening to me. I kept hoping things would turn out well for Lucy after all that happened to her. And I hope nothing like what happened  to the Japanese-Americans ever happens again- for that was a dark time in America's history. It also had several twist endings that left me going "What the heck! I never saw that coming!". Those more made up for the lagging middle. Overall, I found it to be a heartbreaking yet also uplifting read. So I'm going to give it:

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