Synopses & Reviews
In this poignant and evocative novel by acclaimed author Kristina McMorris, a country is plunged into conflict and suspicion — forcing a young woman to find her place in a volatile world.
Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo. Her brother's best friend, Lane is the handsome, ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie was prepared for disapproval from their families, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, the full force of their decision becomes apparent. In the eyes of a fearful nation, Lane is no longer just an outsider, but an enemy.
When her husband is interned at a war relocation camp, Maddie follows, sacrificing her Julliard ambitions. Behind barbed wire, tension simmers and the line between patriot and traitor blurs. As Maddie strives for the hard-won acceptance of her new family, Lane risks everything to prove his allegiance to America, at tremendous cost.
Skillfully capturing one of the most controversial episodes in recent American history, Kristina McMorris draws readers into a novel filled with triumphs and heartbreaking loss
"McMorris's second novel (after Letters from Home), portraying the intertwined fates of two American families in Southern California during WWII, gracefully blossoms through swift prose and rich characters. Maddie Kern, talented violinist and Juilliard hopeful, has only her older brother, TJ, to rely on after their mother's untimely death and their father's hospitalization. Because of this, she keeps her relationship with TJ's best friend, 'Lane' Moritomo, hidden until the two decide to elope. Their marriage is cut short by the attack on Pearl Harbor, a day with major repercussions for the Kerns and the Moritomos. Divided by racism and faced with the 'exodus of an entire race,' Lane must choose between his American future with Maddie and the history and honor of his Japanese family, while TJ searches for purpose in his life by enlisting. Maddie stands to lose everything if she does nothing, and in her courageous choices and sacrifices, McMorris delivers suspense and compassion. She draws eloquently on language Japanese proverbs, the measurements of music, the jargon of war and baseball to illustrate her insights into human nature. Though the prose is too often hackneyed, this gripping story about two 'brothers' in arms and a young woman caught in between them hits all the right chords. Agent: Jennifer Schober, Spencerhill Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Impeccably researched and beautifully written." Karen White, New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
Kristina McMorris lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two sons, bundles of energy who take pride in transforming any cylindrical household object into a weapon. Praised as a "sweeping debut" (Publishers Weekly), Kristina's first novel, Letters from Home was released in trade paperback from Kensington Books and Avon/HarperCollins UK in spring 2011. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is her second book, and she is currently working on a third. McMorris's works of fiction have garnered more than twenty national literary awards and two nominations for the highly coveted Golden Heart.