eBook - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
By the Commonwealth Writer's Prize-winning author of Deafening comes a new historical novel that traces the lives of one Japanese-Canadian family during and after their internment in the 1940s. In 1942 the government removed Bin Okuma's family from their home on British Columbia's west coast and forced them into internment camps. They were allowed to take only the possessions they could carry, and nine-year-old Bin was forced to watch as neighbors raided his family's home before the transport boats even undocked. One hundred miles from the "Protected Zone,"they formed makeshift communities without direct access to electricity, plumbing or food-for five years. Fifty years later, after his wife's sudden death, Bin travels across the country to find the biological father who has been lost to him. Both running from grief and driving straight toward it, Bin must ask himself whether he truly wants to find First Father, the man who made a fateful decision that almost destroyed his family all those years ago. With his wife's persuasive voice in his head and the echo of their love in his heart, Bin embarks on an unforgettable journey into his past that will throw light on a dark time in our shared history.
Publisher: [United States] : Grove/Atlantic, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2012
ISBN: 9780802194602
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 20, 2014

I really liked this read - the history & writing. I didn't realize that Canadians were also interned & shameful history.

Jul 12, 2014

This is a wonderful book, although I found the reality of the treatment of the West Coast Japanese very upsetting. While ii is a work of fiction, I know from friends who experienced the relocation that descriptions of the events reflect the truth. Ms. Itani has a wonderful way with words. I was captivated throughout.

Jul 15, 2013

completely different - about japanese canadians in bc internment camps. i need to finish this. it just didn't capture me enough.

May 05, 2013

I loved this book and found the characters complex and interesting.
The unresolved grief from his old losses, the recent loss, and the interweaving of the above made for a moving account. The story of the families life in the camp and their struggles afterwords are insightful.
Beautifully told.

MariePat Apr 17, 2013

I did not enjoy this book, I found the plot and characters flat. The subject matter is important to know about because it is part of Canadian history. But bearing that, I could not get into this book. I am going to try Obasan by Joy Kogawa instead.

Sep 27, 2012

Good book. Highly recommend

Sep 22, 2012

Bin Okuma goes on a journey, crossing Canada east to west, revisiting a past that includes his experience as a Japanese internee, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, pushed inland from his family home in a coastal fishing village. He is also grieving for his wife Lena who has recently died and preparing for an exhibit of his paintings.

Itani?s beautiful prose carries a book that lags in plot until about halfway through. It is very much like a requiem. {Listening to Beethoven while you read is completely appropriate!] It is very like reading a recent bestseller, Per Petterson?s Out Stealing Horses. I liked her novel Deafening more.

Aug 02, 2012

Although I learned a little, I did not find the book that insightful.

Apr 11, 2012

This book really picked up in the last third if you have the patience to get through the first 2/3 I thought it was worth it. I didn't give up on the book because I so enjoyed reading the beautiful descriptions of the Canadian landscape.

Mar 28, 2012

Beautiful language and musical imagery. I found the story line was a little too subdued to hold my interest, though. Even the big reveal happened with a whimper. I think the story was just way too introspective for my taste. The subject (Japanese detainees) is a serious one that should indeed be explored and I'm looking forward to reading more on this sad period of Canada's history.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at MPL

To Top