Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review: The Diplomat's Daughter by Karin Tanabe

The Diplomat's Daughter
by Karin Tanabe

Publisher: Washington Square Press
Pages: 451
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.

When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the US Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front—and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi—unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart.

Fearful of bombings in Tokyo, Emi’s parents send her to a remote resort town in the mountains, where many in the foreign community have fled. Cut off from her family, struggling with growing depression and hunger, Emi repeatedly risks her life to help keep her community safe—all while wondering if the two men she loves are still alive.

As Christian Lange struggles to adapt to life as a soldier, his unit pushes its way from the South Pacific to Okinawa, where one of the bloodiest battles of World War II awaits them. Meanwhile, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, as Leo fights to survive the squalor of the Jewish ghetto, a surprise confrontation with a Nazi officer threatens his life. For each man, Emi Kato is never far from their minds. 

Kritters Thoughts:  What an epic story!  Emi Kato is the daughter of a Japanese diplomat living in the United States as Pearl Harbor occurs.  She has two loves in a short amount of time and this story documents those loves as they happen and what happens after.  

The best thing about this book is that Emi, Christian and Leo each get the opportunity to narrate their part of the story.  I love how the book was crafted and where you initially meet Emi and then the going back in time to see how she meet each boy and their impact on her life.  Emi is the main character, but Christian and Leo are so integral to the story and showing the many different impacts that World War II on different types of people.  

I have read so many World War II books and thought I had basically read it all, but after reading this one I have a whole new perspective and interest.  I had read about the impact on Japanese and how the United States mistreated this population, but I was clueless of Germans in the United States and how they could have persecuted, I never thought about that population having the same experience than the Japanese.  

I was hesitant to read this book because of the vast amount of World War II books I have read and I am so glad I disregarded myself and went ahead and read it.  I would love to know if anyone knows of other books that depict the German experience in the United States and even more from the Japanese point of view also.  I have read one or two, but would love more!

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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