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Sophie and The Rising Sun

By Augusta Trobaugh

Sophie and The Rising Sun
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  • Hardcover: Nov 2001,
    208 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2002,
    224 pages.

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There are currently 4 reader reviews for Sophie and The Rising Sun
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Skye (10/12/09)

Wonderful, waiting for the movie and sequel
I loved this book so much, I named my dogs after the two main characters. I also loved the audio book version. I read that there was suppose to be a movie; I hoped to see a sequel as the ending did leave an opening to where there could be a follow up novel. Alas, years have passed and no movie or sequel. I can't find any information as to what happened to the movie. Does anyone know?
Veronica (06/29/05)

Great, quick read
What a wonderful little novel! I loved this charming story. Trobaugh captures small-town life perfectly. I grew up in a town of 1,300 people, and as I read this book, I found myself thinking of actual women from my past who were similar to Ruth and Anne. I'm going to look for Trobaugh's other books!
Julie Carenduff (08/19/03)

i thought that this book would be a traditional love story with women meets man and they fall in love and live happily ever after but i really enjoyed it and have read it several times.as i am only 15 and still at school we have to do a book study on a book which moved you as a person and i fell that this book furfils that criteria

thank you
Anonymous (09/23/02)

Augusta Trobaugh is the author of Sophie and the rising sun, Resting in the Bosom of the Lamb and Praise Jerusalem! She was semi-finalist in the 1993 Pirates Alley Faulkner Competition. She holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Georgia. Her work has been funded through the Georgia Council of the Arts.
The story takes place in a sleepy Georgia town, called Salty Creek, where everyone knows everyone else’s business.
Strangers rarely enter their midst, and a mysterious arrival in the spring of 1939 soon sets tongues wagging.
A quiet, unassuming man with a secret history of his own, Mr.Oto is taken in as a gardener by Miss Anne, the town’s conscience-and its heart-with no illusions about Salty Creek or its inhabitants.
One of these is Sophie, who lost her love during World War I and has resigned herself to a passionless existence taking care of her mother and maiden aunts.
Then one day, she and Mr.Oto speak for the first time. To Mr.Oto, whose heart has been full from the moment he saw Sophie, it is one of life’s miracles-when they finally break the silence of the beauty of words unspoken’.
When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbour and Mr.Oto’s newfound life comes under siege, it is Miss Anne who once again comes to his rescue in an act of uncommon courage and sacrifice. She has to hide Mr.Oto like a criminal.
Sophie, who was fallen in love with Mr.Oto, was worn out when Miss Anne told her Mr.Oto was gone away. But the white lie was reveal when Miss Anne broke his ankle and Sophie had to take some supplies to him.
Now she must decide how much she is willing to risk for a future with this man who has brought such joy into her life. Miss Anne said: ’And nobody knew what was coming to us in that terrible December’.
As you can see on the cover there is a crane. I had to find the Japanese legend about this animal in order to understand the different metaphors this novel presents.
The crane is thought much of by the people. He goes by the name of sarorun chikap, that is to say, "the bird among the tall grasses" ... The inner lining of the crane's nest is said to consist of wool, and the name given it is setsambe, i.e., "the pulse or the heart of the nest."
Should an Ainu find one of these, he considers himself a rich man at once, for such a treasure will speedily bring prosperity and riches.
The nest lining is taken, wrapped up in inao shavings [inao are ceremonial totems made of whittled willow sticks], and carefully put away in a box at the northeast or sacred corner of the hut. The title itself conceals the love story between Sophie, an American girl, and Mr.Oto of Japanese descent.
The rising sun of the title symbolizes the part of the world in which the sun rises, which is the Japan. References are manifold: There is the conflict between Japan and America.
Mr.Oto will be able to wake up the emotions hidden inside Sophie. The title contrasts the life of Sophie to the insignia of regret for the lost beloved to the opening toward a stranger culture and a new way of thinking, facing the discovery of the absolute love that doesn't get depressed to the sad reality of the physical death.
Sophie does not seem to have much of a life in Salty Creek beyond her reading group and her painting.
She was used to look after her mama and her aunts. When they all passed away she went on doing always what she used to do. Maybe she was waiting for a young man to run off with and always lived with her mama’s endorsement: ’Nothing last’, which sounded like her irreparably marked destiny.
One of Sophie’s few childhood friends was Sally, a friendship Sophie’s mother put to an end when she discovered it.
Sally was a black girl and Sophie grew up in an environment that fostered prejudice and segregation. She was able to see beyond the close-mindedness she had been taught because she was like a bird with no boundaries and “Birds don’t belong to anyone except to themselves’.
She was looking for something that will be last.
Miss Ruth was more emblematic of the town of Salty Creek. In fact she tried to discover the secret of Sophie, in name of the friendship with her mother, and is the symbol of a city, where no secret can be kept. This novel has three secrets: Mr.Oto’s identity, Mr.Oto hideaway and the end of the story between Mr.Oto and Sophie.
It is a feeling of patriotism and a feeling of friendship that causes Miss Anne to hide Mr.Oto when the Japanese bomb break out in America. ‘For after all, she would, indeed, be severely ostracized…perhaps even called a traitor’.
She could not tolerate being just like the indifferent people of this country and could not bear to see a solid American man like Mr.Oto being hidden away like a criminal even if his father was a Japanese. She decided to tell ‘only little white lie to keep from hurting folks’ feelings.’
Sally suggests, and Sophie agrees that, "you got to have bad feelings toward some folks…because they do things [that are] bad." I agree with this statement because prejudices on the colour of the skin are only synonymous of racism and to preach them provokes inevitable ethnic clashes.
One of this clash is Sally's method of revenge against the women of Salty Creek, cleaning their houses with an intensity so as to "make all those white ladies feel like they been living in a pigsty before", yield the results she seeks, even if it wasn't enough to cancel the pain for have always been treated as one dirty person due to the colour of her skin. It's a wonderful novel that everybody has to read!!!


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