Year 4, Book 77

77. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
This is a very short novel written about the Japanese internment camps during WWII. There are 5 chapters told by members of an unnamed family. The first by the mother, the second by the daughter, the third by the son, the fourth by a mix of those three, and the final chapter by the father who has been separated from his family the entire time. The book has some haunting details in it, but like most books where the characters remain anonymous I had a hard time relating to them and getting drawn into the story. It is a quick read though and does cause you to stop and think about that horrible situation in our nation’s history, so I would recommend it. This book was Loyola’s common text for freshmen this year and I saw the author speak about it, which I actually found far more compelling than her book. I give it a 6 out of 10.

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