About the book:
A story of prejudice and acceptance, dignity under the worst conditions, and the power of the Atonement to heal us all.
Ken Sugihara is my fictional character for this book, and he was a student at Berkeley at the time of Pearl Harbor. He is shocked to hear about the attack, but even more shocked when he discovers that all people of Japanese ancestry in the United States, especially those living on the West Coast, are now considered suspects in the attack. He and his parents are taken from their home and sent to a relocation center in the Utah Desert.
Tristi Pinkston has a terrific way of understanding human nature. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, Japanese Americans living on the west coast found themselves persecuted for their heritage. Despite that persecution, Ken Sugihara, a student at UC Berkeley, tries to enlist in the US Army, only to find himself turned away. He soon finds himself turned out of school. The Japanese Americans lost homes and savings and found themselves shipped off to relocation camps around the country. Ken and his parents were sent to the Topaz camp near Delta, Utah.
Ken is understandably bitter and resentful. Especially when he is asked to enlist in the Army and become a spy in Japan. However, despite all that has happened, Ken loves his country and accepts the challenge. What happens next will change his life forever.
Tristi's research is phenomenal. She has truly captured the essence of not only the time, but the people. Ken's experiences in Japan affect his life and his decisions. Through his trials, he finds love and faith in God through the LDS church, and even the ability to forgive.
Tristi does a remarkable job of weaving in Ken's conversion and Mormon beliefs with the story in a way that is not preachy, but one that is believable and touching.
I read my own personal copy, but you can purchase the book here and here.
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