When the Emperor Was Divine (Book Review)

When the Emperor Was Divine (Book Review)

When the Emperor Was Divine (Book Review)

This is a short, very powerful book of a Japanese family exiled in America during World War II. The writing is sparse and stark but at the same time embroidered with amazing detail. This author has struck that difficult balance between dispassionate objectivity and profound compassion for her characters, and the result is totally disarming.

This is the best thing I’ve read about the internment camps, next to the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Both have a similar wistful feel of injustice stoically suffered and endured. 

I have been meaning to read this book for quite a while. In our current political climate, I wanted to put myself in the shoes of an unwelcome immigrant fraught with prejudice. This book did that marvelously, and especially so, since it was not set in our own time. It delivered the needed object lesson beautifully: as all offspring of the same Creator, clearly the only enemy is not treating each other as such.

Here is an example of why one reads fiction. It is a bridge to understanding the general human condition, as well as the specific mistakes of another time, so better choices can be made in the future.

May we listen and not alienate others in the name of fear, as we do not wish that to happen to us! I pray we can avoid such shameful behavior as a country, and be more enlightened.

This books does not take long to read, but it is deeply affecting. I give it five stars.

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I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


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