Friday, December 15, 2017

The Little Exile by Jeanette Arakawa

book cover
The Little Exile
by Jeanette Arakawa

ISBN-13: 9781611720365
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
Released: May 16, 2017

Source: ARC Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
After Pearl Harbor, little Marie Mitsui’s typical life of school and playing with friends in San Francisco is upended. Her family and thousands of others of Japanese heritage are under suspicion and forcibly relocated to internment camps far from home. Living conditions in the camps are harsh, but in the end Marie finds freedom and hope for the future. Told from a child’s perspective, The Little Exile deftly conveys Marie’s innocence, wonder, fear, and outrage. This work of autobiographical fiction is based on the author’s own experience as a wartime internee.

Jeanette S. Arakawa was born in San Francisco in 1932 and was interned in the 1940s at the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas.

My Review:
The Little Exile is autobiographical fiction describing the author's life around the time of WWII. It reminded me of reading "Little House on the Prairie." We get stories about interesting things that happened in her life, but it also shows how they were treated. It's written from the viewpoint of a child rather than an adult looking back to when she was a child. She started by describing her life in San Francisco leading up to WWII, then how they were treated after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many people remained friendly with her family, but the FBI sent some people to check out her father and they had to give up their radio. Then they had to move inland. Then they had to go to a temporary internment camp, then take a long train ride to Arkansas, then stay at this new internment/relocation camp for several years. We also learn how her father found a job in Denver, and they left the camp and moved there until they could finally "go home" to San Francisco.

She described how they were treated, both the good and the bad. The internment camps certainly weren't pleasant or fair, but they were actually better than I'd thought. They could watch movies, get jobs at the camp to earn a little money, and order things and correspond through the mail. They had a school of a sorts and a hospital. Well, read the book to learn what it was like. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting book.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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