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Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves
A beautiful, timeless love story...McMorris' words reach right off the page...
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What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

Created: 01/05/12

Replies: 28

Posted Jan. 05, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
BookBrowse

Join Date: 11/16/10

Posts: 43

Overall, what did you think of "Bridge of Scarlet Leaves"?

Overall, what did you think of "Bridge of Scarlet Leaves"?


Posted Feb. 14, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
catherineh

Join Date: 02/08/12

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of

A good book overall. However, author either "brushes" or does not deep enough on the Japanese "relocation".


Posted Feb. 14, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sharalynnep

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 33

RE: Overall, what did you think of

I really enjoyed the book. It was an easy read and I learned about the Japanese location issue which I had heard about over the years but didn't know anything about. We have a mom and daughter in our book club of Japanese descent and I am going to give the book to them. They might have some stories of their own on this issue which could really be interesting. My first thought after reading the book is that I am wondering where the title comes from? I missed the connection somehow. Can someone enlighten me?


Posted Feb. 27, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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carmelina

Join Date: 08/04/11

Posts: 4

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

What a beautifully written book, I really loved the characters. I have read a few novels about this time in history and each time I am at a loss about the way this chapter in our great history was handled by our government. Maddie followed her heart and faced great consequences as a result. The characters were really well developed, I can't say enough about the way I really found myself invested in each person in the book. Another great book in the genre is "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford, which I loved as well.


carmelina
Posted Feb. 27, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 57

Expert

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I really enjoyed this book. It was a rapid read and it held my interest through the whole book. I have read other books about the internment, but this is the first one that addressed the non Japanese husbands and wives. The characters were likable and provided the feelings that prevailed at that time about all people of color.


Posted Feb. 27, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothyt

Join Date: 04/10/11

Posts: 102

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RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I really like this book. It is well-written, and I found parts of it heart-wrenching as the author deals with those regrets we all have over things we have said or done or things we wished we had said or done, and are now anxious to make right. But we are given hope for healing here. I really like the characters: Maddie is a strong character that holds the story together; Jo is a kick; TJ (I had to wait through the whole book to finally find out what the initials stand for!) is probably the hardest one to like at first; Lane at first seems to good to be true; other lesser characters are well-developed as well.


Posted Feb. 27, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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Santa Fe Cowgirl

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 26

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I enjoyed this book very much... It was about an interesting time in our country's history. I have read other books about the same topic and many newspaper articles, too. I find it hard to believe that our government could do this. I am certain that there were Japanese spys among the Nisei and Isei, but I bet a vast majority of the Japanese living in the USA were loyal citizens! Not the US government at its best. The main characters were well developed, but some of the lesser characters were not. I wanted a better picture of the father-in-law. All in all, it was a good read!


Posted Feb. 27, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
ioc

Join Date: 02/27/12

Posts: 3

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

What a lovely poem to introduce this novel which is an enjoyable read. The Federal government's decision regarding the relocation camps is a difficult subject . Few books on the Japanese relocation centers include the non Japanese spouses and McMorris provided some interesting insights into the very difficult life Maddie chose to follow. The only criticism is that McMorris tried to cover too many aspects of WWII with the result that the book is a light brush over the subject. For example, Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken and Elliot Carlson's Joe Rochefort's War cover the subject of Japanese concentration camps in much better perspective. Here, the camps seemed to be a "gadget" to bring about the eventual reconciliation of Maddie and TJ.
Overall, a good read and for those with little or no knowledge of this aspect of WWII, a good starting point.


Posted Feb. 28, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothyt

Join Date: 04/10/11

Posts: 102

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RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

Re: the above post by ioc: I think you nailed it when you said that the point of McMorris' story is the reconciliation of Maddie and TJ. I don't think her goal was an exhaustive account of the Japanese POW camps, the US internment camps, or even the dedication and work it takes to be accepted at Julliard. These are the things that affected the characters and led to the bridges they built.


Posted Feb. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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catherinem

Join Date: 10/06/11

Posts: 23

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

Prior to beginning "Bridge of Scarlet Leaves," I read about the author, Kristina McMorris, who has won a number of romance-genre awards. I am not a fan of romance novels, and I would not have selected this book if I were at a bookstore looking for an interesting read. However, I think that Ms. McMorris did her research in regard to the maltreatment of Japanese Americans by other Americans following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. I also think that "Snow Falling on Cedars" would make an excellent follow-up read as it deals with the continued subjugation of Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest in the 1950s.


Posted Feb. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sharalynnep

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 33

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I feel exactly the same way. I would not have picked it up either. I have had several people reccommend "Snow Falling On Cedars". I am putting that in my pile of books to read. Not to change the subject but I just finished the book Ed King by the same author....not the same topic but I enjoyed it too.


Posted Feb. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

Hi Catherine, You're right that Kristina McMorris has won awards from the Romance Writers of America; but I don't believe any of them have been in the romance category as such. Her books are generally categorized as "women's fiction" - so while she's won awards from various chapters of the RWA, the awards were in the mainstream/women's fiction categories, not romance categories.

- Davina, BB editor


Posted Feb. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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catherinem

Join Date: 10/06/11

Posts: 23

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

Hi Davina, Thanks for the clarification. I think that "women's fiction" may be a better description of McMorris' work. Catherine


Posted Mar. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
laurieb

Join Date: 07/16/11

Posts: 15

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I liked the book, although, especially in the beginning, I thought the characters were somewhat sterotypical and clumsily drawn. As the book developed, I felt that much less. I got a much better feel for what the Japanese relocation (i.e., imprisonment!) was really like, and the book painted a good picture of the prejudice against Japanese-Americans during that time. It is inspiring to be reminded that many of the Japanese-Americans, in the face of such overwhelming prejudice, simply renewed their efforts to serve America


Posted Mar. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbaraj

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 1

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I enjoyed reading the book. While reading the book, I was thinking of my friend and her family, who is Japanese, My friend was born in the interment camp located in Delta, Utah. Their home was in Berkeley, Calif. The Gov't took everything that they owned including a Nursery. However, they saved their house, by "selling" it to a neighbor for a 1.00. (They bought it back when they got out.)


Posted Mar. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

Barbara - Your friend's family were fortunate to have been able to "sell" their house to such an honorable friend who gave it back at the end of the war - many others were not so lucky! They may have lost the nursery because a law that had been passed in California before 1920 prevented non-citizens from owning land, so many of the Japanese American farmers were tenants and lost their tenancies while in the camps. Those who did own land or property and, didn't have anyone to entrust it to in their absence, ended up selling at very short notice to speculators who made an absolute mint.

After the war, the government made modest efforts to compensate internees for what they had lost but by the time the Act was passed to do this in 1948, the IRS had destroyed the tax records for 1942 and earlier, and few of the internees had records as they were very limited in what they could take to the camps and much of what they left behind was destroyed. Thus, while over 26,000 families filed claims, only a quarter of the total amount claimed was approved.


Posted Mar. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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pennyn

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 23

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I was 11-years-old when I first read about this horror - in 1955. This book gave me more information however it did not soften nor explain the reasoning behind herding the American Japanese into "camps".
Did we round up the Germans? The Italians? Of course not -- you can't tell them from the other white men at the top of the food chain. As a youngster I read a book called Nisei Daughter - at first it frightened me and second I felt my country had betrayed its principles. The book was well written and researched. All the words and descriptions seem extremely truthful. This is not a book about WWII nor should it be. It's a book about despicable actions of many. Thank you Kristina McMorris


Penny
Posted Mar. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
peg

Join Date: 08/11/11

Posts: 29

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I really enjoyed the book. It was well written, easy to read and kept my interest. Felt I knew the characters.


Posted Mar. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
maryj

Join Date: 03/06/12

Posts: 11

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I think it was well written and researched. I enjoyed the whole story and found the information about Japanese Americans and their plight very interesting. I will recommend it to my friends.


Posted Mar. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jenniferp

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 3

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I was excited to read this as I am very interested in this despicable period of American history. However, I was disappointed in that I felt the prose was really contrived and - I don't know - low-quality. Reading all these comments makes me want to try one more time to get through as I had to give up after about 75 pages or so...the subject is so interesting, though, and it sounds like maybe if I stick to it, I could fall in love with the characters. I just felt that the writing itself was very poor. Though I'm not a huge reader of "women's fiction" or "romance" so maybe that's it. :)


Posted Mar. 08, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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pennyn

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 23

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I understand Jenniferp's reasoning about her disappointment in this book. Most fiction I rarely relate well with characters, I sort of read for the message. I didn't think the writing was that bad, sometimes a bit contrived but over all readable.


Penny
Posted Mar. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sylviaj

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 30

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I must admit, it took me a little bit of time to get into it since the beginning started off slowly. But once Pearl Harbor happened, all of these relationships became more and more interesting to me. I really appreciated the level of historical detail in the book, especially for someone like me who wasn't alive during a time when the internment was going on or even discussed. In Central California in the 80s and 90s there was no mention of it in our school history books. It wasn't until I learned a little bit about reparations that I was even aware of any of the horrors that many Japanese Americans suffered when all I can think about is the hypocrisy and racism when many fewer German and Italian Americans were thought spies. I also enjoyed the author's ability to weave in the Japanese language and culture so seamlessly, I now want to read more of her work. I read Snow Falling On Cedars years ago but I actually enjoyed this book more because I really enjoy seeing many characters grow and change, with substantial arcs from where they started at the beginning of the novel. Here was a rich cornucopia of fully dimensional characters, Maddie, TJ, Lane, Kumiko, Jo, Emma and Nubo. They all changed and changed lives all around them with the sacrifices they made in wartime.


Posted Mar. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janen

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 32

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I really enjoyed this book. It touched on so many important themes both during WWII and now. It is a beautifully written book and I wonder if she will do a squeal thagt would include the daughter growing up, bridging between two cultures.


Posted Mar. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rachelb

Join Date: 02/09/12

Posts: 5

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I really enjoyed the book, and agree with many of the others that both the relationships and the characters became more interesting and compelling as the story moved through the war and internment. It was almost like the story went from black and white to full color :) I still heartily protest Lane's death....


Posted Mar. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sylviaj

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 30

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

Rachelb, unfortunately I felt his death was coming and I was so hoping that it wouldn't come to pass. When it did I still didn't want to accept it so I protest his death too. I guess with Lane being a bridge to everyone, his death forced his family and friends to make new ones to each other.


Posted Mar. 15, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lucyb

Join Date: 03/09/12

Posts: 8

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I enjoyed this book very much. I was a young girl during World War II. I did not know about the camps until I was well into my adult life. At the same time I was reading this book, I was reading "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" that was assigned by my local reading group. This book also was about the internment camps. I was sorry that Lane did not make it home to meet his daughter, but that is part of life. I felt the author did a great job developing the characters and building the story.


Posted Mar. 30, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
laureens

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 5

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I enjoyed the book; however, I thought McMorris tried to cover to any topics in one book. This left me with never feeling that one was ever focused on deep enough. The book tried to deal with deaths of patents, interracial romance/marriage, Japanese interment camps, POW camps, childbirth tragedies (or near ones), sacraficing your dreams for someone else, etc. I felt sometimes that this was a combination of trying to blend the research McMorris had found - taking real cases from 2 or 3 families and putting it into Maddie's and Lane's families.


Posted Apr. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
anniep

Join Date: 04/10/12

Posts: 1

RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I read this book while recuperating from surgery in a rehab center. In a little way, I saw how it was to be away from home in an unfamiliar and nonpersonal place, even though I certainly didn't suffer any racist hatred or uncomfortable living conditions. I hated that Lane died, tho, and wanted him and Maddie to have a life after the war. I wish there would be a sequel following their daughter's life after the war. I loved that Maddie and Lane's mother were able to connect at last. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.


Posted Apr. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dianes

Join Date: 05/16/11

Posts: 53

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RE: What are your impressions of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?

I liked it quite a bit but wish it had slightly more depth to it, especially pertaining the to the Japanese internment camps.


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