Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Gutterson

This book was one of my summer reads. Summer seems to be the only time I have a lot of time to be able to read. I miss summer... well moving on to the book :) I very much enjoyed this book! It revolves around the death of Carl Heine in which Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese American, is being accused of. Carl's body was found in the sea, trapped on his own net of his fishing boat. Kabuo goes under a trial, during the anti-japanese sentiments after WWII. Ishmael Chambers who runs the newspaper wonders if Kabuo is truly innocent. Ishmael fought during the war against the Japanese losing his arm during a battle, so he formed a hatred towards the Japanese. But he continues to be in love with Hatsue, whom he grew up with. Hatsue is married to Kabuo but Ishmael and Hatsue had a romantic history when they were young, up until Hatsue was taken away along with other Japanese to a camp and Ishmael went to war. But overall its such a good read,the characters gather evidence and investigate to prove Kabuo is guilty but the trial seems unfair just because he is Japanese and therefore they quickly assume he is guilty for the murder of Carl Heine.

Reviews by other readers:

"What a fantastic book. I recommend this to anyone. It's amazing how humans treat other humans sometimes." -Robin

what a great story.. very different from anything i read before. Crime, mystery, love, family and war.." - Jasan

"Very good story - a murder trial, with a love story entangled in it, with prejudice and hatred framing it - beautiful description of nature and the land of the pacific northwest. And you learn some history too" -Ruth

Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa

I quite enjoy Yoko Ogawa's japanese books. Her books are very dreamlike and captivating. The first book I read by her was The Housekeeper and the Professor which was a splendid book to read. I really enjoyed it so I was sure I would enjoy Hotel Iris as well. I was right. Another great book by her. This one was haunting and strange in a way, a story about a 17 year old girl named Mari working at a hotel her mother owns. Her mother always wants her around helping out leaving Mari with hardly any time for fun. But then she meets an older man who was kicked out of the hotel for causing a scandal with a prostitute he was with. Hearing the man's voice caught complete attention for Mari. This older man is a pain artist who lives at an island and makes Mari do humiliating things by tying her up, hitting and spitting at her and Mari despite what he does to her, loves him and seeks him again and again. So yes its strange and a dark novel but still was a good read for me.