“In 1954 a fisherman is found dead in the nets of his boat, and a local Japanese-American man is charged with his murder. In the course of his trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man’s guilt. For on San Piedro, memories grow as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries – memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and a Japanese girl; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbours watched.”
I read this book when I myself was in high school and it ended up inspiring a creative research project for my HSC history course. I found it a captivating and compelling revelation of racism and prejudice in the west and the terror of WWII. This gripping story takes the reader on a journey through the harsh but stunning environment of the north west coast of America and slowly unravels through the perspectives of a variety of different characters. While this book is a very recommendable read – beware that it is currently on the HSC list for Advanced Module B and therefore cannot be used as a related text for the HSC at this time.