• I’m still always surprised when I read about the racism during WWII.

• When I read her name was Keiko it reminded me of the book, “When my name was Keoko.” Obviously not the same thing or ethnicity, it just reminded me of that book.

• Marty is kind of an awful son.

• Henry is at least honest, but also is kind of a bad friend.

• Reading about the suitcases was so numbing (pg. 65).

• I’ve changed my opinion of Marty.

• If you really want to feel awful about the world read page 88.

•I suspect Henry’s mother isn’t as prejudiced as his father.

• Reading the racism against Japanese and Chinese Americans, during WWII makes me sick to my stomach.

• And also all the other Asians living in the States at the time.

• I was not expecting photographs, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

• It still annoys me the way Marty talks to Henry. Didn’t anyone teach you to understand? Living in a diverse place like Seattle and being a POC.

• “Within a week, the evacuation of Bainbridge Island was already old news—within a month it was almost forgotten, on the surface, anyway—everyone was doing their best to go about business as usual,” (page 119). And really, that’s the crux of it all. Everyone tried to forget and just live their life. But when someone’s life is changed so dramatically like the lives of the Japanese-Americans, one can’t help but wonder if you shouldn’t be allowed to just go on like before.

• I’ve changed my view of Harry. He’s like one of the guys in Plato’s The Cave and I have to forgive him for that. Because while he didn’t know at first, after he learned, he was better.

• I like the writing at some parts, but some of it sounds too… fake. Like he’s trying to be profound and it’s just winds up being cliche. But I like it for the most part.

• It never crossed my mind that white people would go work in the camps to help the Japanese. But that makes sense when you think about it.

• Walla Walla is an extremely white town. I’ve been there.

• I was wrong about Henry’s mom.

• Are there (or were there) really boys who had their crap together at age 13? Because I honestly can’t think of any 13-year-old boy who can even tie his shoe much less ride a bus to the state over.

• I want to be the kind of parents Keiko’s are to her and everyone else.

• If you don’t understand Chinese culture, you don’t really understand the magnitude of Henry staying in Seattle.

• HOW COULD YOU NOT GO AND CHECK?? THAT IS IT. I’M DONE.

• Even with understanding even a particle of what Henry’s dad went through and why he hated the Japanese, I still hate him for what he did to his son. A lot of books are dedicated to showing the relationships between family members and they all show it differently. It’s like the relationship described in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. The mother didn’t really love her son, because she was willing to hurt him to “do what was best for him.”

• This is my kind of book, not the kind of sad that is immediate and definite, but the kind that slowly erodes away your hope for a happy ending.

• I am not OK after reading Keiko’s note.

• The ending was everything I wanted it to be, and also not at the same time. I can’t say I was surprised because there was only really one way for it to end, but still. I wanted more. And more than anything, I wanted them to be together in the past. I wanted them to be happy and have kids and defy the odds and be a beautiful interracial couple in t he 1940s/1950s. But I guess that’s more realistic to life; happy endings don’t always come when they’re called.

• Ending the book on “their phrase” was a little cliche. I know, I know, everyone’s a critic.

• There’s something quite sobering about finishing a book you want to live in forever.

8/10 one of those books that changes you. In love with the characters. I will make my children read this book.

 

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