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Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves Summary and Reviews

Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves

by Kristina McMorris

Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris X
Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris
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  • Published Mar 2012
    352 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo. Her brother's best friend, Lane is the handsome, ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie was prepared for disapproval from their families, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, the full force of their decision becomes apparent. In the eyes of a fearful nation, Lane is no longer just an outsider, but an enemy.

When her husband is interned at a war relocation camp, Maddie follows, sacrificing her Juilliard ambitions. Behind barbed wire, tension simmers and the line between patriot and traitor blurs. As Maddie strives for the hard-won acceptance of her new family, Lane risks everything to prove his allegiance to America, at tremendous cost.

Skillfully capturing one of the most controversial episodes in recent American history, Kristina McMorris draws readers into a novel filled with triumphs and heartbreaking loss - an authentic, moving testament to love, forgiveness, and the enduring music of the human spirit.

You can see the full discussion here. This discussion will contain spoilers!

Some of the recent comments posted about Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves:

At what point in the story do you believe Lane and Maddie's relationship truly became love?
I believe it was at the beach when Lane told her that his parents had arranged a marriage for him, and then he asked Maddie to marry him. When she thought she might be losing Lane. She had snuck notes into his pockets plenty of times conveying her ... - lucyb

Did your impression of Kumiko change once she revealed her past? Have you ever encountered a similar situation in which a discovery altered your perspective of a person?
Yes it did. I believe that everyone has something going on in their life that is not visible to others. Until we truly know a person and their background or situations are made known, we might view them differently, sometime better, sometimes worse... - lucyb

Did your impression of Kumiko change once she revealed her past? Have you ever encountered a similar situation in which a discovery altered your perspective of a person?
I agree wholeheartedly with the others who have responded that I felt much more positively toward Kumiko, and that I really enjoyed watching her emerge from her solitude after she shared her past. I also marvelled at how so often we don't react the ... - rachelb

Do you feel that Lane cared more about salvaging his relationship with TJ than building his ongoing love with Maddie?
My feeling is that Lane did what he did was for Maddie at and not jus T.J.....he knew that all Maddie had left in terms of her family was T.J. In Japanese tradition, family was what mattered most! He sacrificed his own future happiness, to save ... - nancy f.

Do you think TJ should have been so protective of Maddie?
I think TJ took his role way too seriously. It's one thing to look out for a younger sister but he went way too far. Maddie proved over and over again that she was a strong person. While her brother was stuck in grief and denial, she went on with her... - janen

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A sweeping yet intimate novel that will please both romantics and lovers of American history." - Kirkus Reviews

"Though the prose is too often hackneyed, this gripping story about two 'brothers' in arms and a young woman caught in between them hits all the right chords." - Publishers Weekly

"Readers of World War II fiction will devour [this] poignant, authentic story..." - Jenna Blum, international bestselling author of Those Who Save Us

"An unputdownable love story... [McMorris'] attention to detail is meticulous, the East meets West clash between cultures - revelatory." - Lesley Kagen, New York Times bestselling author of Good Graces

"Impeccably researched and beautifully written... I highly recommend this book!" - Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of On Folly Beach

"Fascinating and moving... an absolute pleasure to read." - Whitney Otto, author of How to Make an American Quilt

"A beautiful, timeless love story... McMorris' words reach right of the page and grab at your heart." - Sarah Jio, author of The Violets of March

"An epic romance... I followed Maddie and Lane's fast-paced journey to unexpected places with my breath held and fingers crossed." - Margaret Dilloway, author of How to Be an American Housewife

"This wonderful World War II novel is written with a wealth of insight that, presumably, comes from the author's own experiences growing up in a Japanese-Caucasian family. Although McMorris does not shy away from exposing the mistreatment of men, women, and children, who were guilty of nothing more than having Japanese ancestry, neither does she settle for simplistic judgments. Instead, she gently probes the complexities of human relationships…. The "bridge" in the title draws attention to the musical imagery that is skillfully woven into the novel, adding depth and elegance while highlighting themes of hope and forgiveness. Rich in historical detail, peopled with well-developed characters, and spiced with tension and drama, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is a novel to savor, and then to share with a friend." - The Historical Novels Review, Nancy J. Attwell

"Kristina McMorris, the author of Letters from Home, amazed me with Bridge of Scarlet Leaves. I loved it. I’m still in awe of how well written it is. I was awakened to so many different aspects and trials of that time period that I wasn’t aware of prior to reading the novel. McMorris has a unique ability to portray the emotions of an era we didn't belong to, through words.... I now have a whole new outlook and respect for those involved in WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is a must read for 2012. You won't be sorry!" - Night Owl Reviews Magazine, Tiffany Schlarman

This information about Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own reviewwrite your own review

JaneN

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
This is a story that needs to be told, especially now when people are so divided. It is a story of two people, Lane and Maddie, who fall in love and marry the day before Pearl Harbor. It would be hard enough to start anew life in the best of times, they had to do in the worst of times. A good book well written and thoroughly enjoyable. A great book for book clubs as there is so much to discuss here.

Dorothy T.

Good read about a bad time
This is not the first book I have read about the internment of Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II and the plight of POWs in Japanese camps, but it is definitely more heart-wrenching, as it includes the pain and regret of things said and done, or not said or done. But there is also a great deal of hope and healing for the characters. Kristina McMorris shows a true gift for character development, and her arrangement of the story keeps the suspense building. She handles well the conflict of cultures and how her characters build the bridges to span the divide. You don't need a book club to appreciate this one, but book club members will appreciate the discussion it will inspire.

JEM

Bridge of Scarlett Leaves
I found this book to be engrossing from the minute I picked it up. The book takes you through the lives of a number of people slightly before the day Pearl Harbor was bombed and continues on to the end of the war.
Needless to say, this saga pits American families, and American Japanese families against, and on occasion with each other throughout the time before , during, and after.
What was particularly interesting to me was that during much of the book I was thinking I like it,it it's an easy read, but it feels like so many books I have read in this genre.
However-sometime in the last third of the book, I had not realized just how captured I was with the story and the characters. Turns out, and I never do this, I actually shed tears a few times towards the end.
I also enjoyed the infusion of some Japanese words which made me feel like an American learning a language that I had no knowledge of.Having had to do this with my in-laws,who spoke little English when I met them, this was very realistic.
I would recommend this book highly. I can't wait to read the author's other book now!

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Author Information

Kristina McMorris Author Biography

Kristina McMorris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her background includes ten years of directing public relations for an international conglomerate as well as extensive television experience. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her novels have garnered twenty national literary awards, and include Letters from Home, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, The Pieces We Keep, and The Edge of Lost, in addition to novellas in the anthologies A Winter Wonderland and Grand Central. Her forthcoming novel, Sold on a Monday, will be released September 2018. A frequent guest speaker and workshop presenter, she holds a BS in international marketing from Pepperdine. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oregon.

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