Picture 2My friend Betsy loaned this book to me after reading it in her book club. I absolutely loved it – although “Publishers Weekly” didn’t. If you click on the picture of the book it should go to a video clip of the author, Jamie Ford, talking about it. Barnesandnoble.com had the following review on their website (Andrea, I’ll have it ready for you when you come for your visit. You can then return it to Betsy for me when you’re done):

Fifth-grade scholarship students and best friends Henry and Keiko are the only Asians in their Seattle elementary school in 1942. Henry is Chinese, Keiko is Japanese, and Pearl Harbor has made all Asians-even those who are American born-targets for abuse. Because Henry’s nationalistic father has a deep-seated hatred for Japan, Henry keeps his friendship with and eventual love for Keiko a secret. When Keiko’s family is sent to an internment camp in Idaho, Henry vows to wait for her. Forty years later, Henry comes upon an old hotel where the belongings of dozens of displaced Japanese families have turned up in the basement, and his love for Keiko is reborn. In his first novel, award-winning short-story writer Ford expertly nails the sweet innocence of first love, the cruelty of racism, the blindness of patriotism, the astonishing unknowns between parents and their children, and the sadness and satisfaction at the end of a life well lived. The result is a vivid picture of a confusing and critical time in American history. Recommended for all fiction collections. – Joanna M. Burkhardt (Library Journal)