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The Yokota Officers Clubby Sarah Bird
Synopses & Reviews
Sarah Bird's gutsy, sharp, and touching new novel opens at full speed.
Bernadette "Bernie" Root, military brat, speaks. She has never really noticed what a peculiar bunch of nomads her eight-member Air Force family is (with the exception of her Post Princess sister, Kit), until the summer after her first year of college when she joins them at their new assignment: Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.
Just as Okinawa turns out to be a sorry version of the Japanese paradise Bernie knew in her childhood at Yokota Air Base, her family, especially her once-beautiful mother, Moe, and her former spy-pilot father, Mace, seems to have been in decline since those glory days of the American Raj. Days when her mother was happy and their best friend, Fumiko, now lost to them, was the family?s maid. The worst part of Okinawa for Bernie, though, is realizing how perfectly she fits with her oddball family and how badly she needs to get out.
So when a dance contest first prize, a trip to Japan, offers a chance to escape, she takes it, playing second banana to a third-rate comedian on a tour of Japan?s military bases. At their grand finale at the Yokota Officers? Club, Fumiko finally reappears, and Bernie discovers the terrible price that is paid when the secrets nations hide end up buried within families.
A brilliantly appealing novel whose energy, wit, and feeling have won for it extraordinary advance praise.
"A gem, polished and faceted in a way that pulled me into the heart of it with the first paragraph....Important, touching, meaningful, and uplifting." Jeanne Ray, Chicago Tribune
"A delightful heroine...sharp and snarky." Publishers Weekly
"A book of incisive wit and poignancy." BookPage
"Bernie is an original with her own voice, a believably awkward mix of sassy attitude and breathless insights, but she marches too much in lockstep with her creator's overly schematic plotting. Like everyone else, she's under orders." Kirkus Reviews
"Sarah Bird writes fiction with such energy and snap, her novels seem to be in motion....There's a wheelbarrow of talent in the writer who can keep a reader laughing right up to the moment of startled apprehension when the depth of sorrow in the family's history becomes clear." The Dallas Morning News
"A lovely read....[This novel] is a coming-of-age story, but one so ably fashioned, so tender at its core, that it can touch off both youthful longings and mature regrets in any reader with the slightest susceptibility to either." New York Daily News
"From the family car to forbidden airspace, this is a wonderful book. If you've ever been a sibling, a parent, a spy, a spouse, a flyer, a teenager, an entertainer, an outsider....Or if you've ever felt trapped." Roy Blount, Jr.
"Sweet, powerful, and terrifying, Sarah Bird's talent, always substantial, achieves in The Yokota Officers Club an even greater depth and force that is nothing less than wondrous. This book is a beautiful and breathtaking treasure, and I thank her for it." Rick Bass
"The miracle of The Yokota Officers Club is that it defies the laws of its own gravity. How can a story about dispossession and unspeakable loss, about fading national glory and family heartbreak, be so consistently and authentically hilarious? Sarah Bird's novel is an unforgettable melding of exuberant wit and deep compassion." Stephen Harrigan
"Who else can write about dancing, music, JP-4 fuel, the military, and strawberries, make it funny, and also make it about matters of the heart? Only Sarah Bird. This is her best book yet, a big book that you'll want to read again as soon as you finish it the first time." Clyde Edgerton
"The first half of this book will make you scream with laughter. The second half will tear your heart out. Very few novelists have gotten the military brat story right. Believe me, Sarah Bird gets it right. For the first time we have a writer as dead-on as Pat Conroy, but from the daughter's point of view. We are so very lucky that Sarah Bird has brought her immense talents to the telling of our story." Mary Edwards Wertsch, author of Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress
In this funny and moving novel, Bernie Root is returning to her family for the summer after her first year at college. Her father is stationed in Okinawa, and the rest of her large family is living at Kadena Air Base. Bernie is happy to be back, but it's more obvious to her than ever that her oddball family is the only place she fits in.
About the Author
Sarah Bird is the author of four previous novels: Virgin of the Rodeo, The Boyfriend School, Alamo House, and The Mommy Club. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, George, and son, Gabriel.
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