Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Midnight in Broad Daylight


Today's post is on Midnight in Broad Daylight by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto. It is 464 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is a family picture of the all the brothers. The intended reader is someone interested in history, unsung World War 2 heroes, and moving family narratives. There is no language, no sex, and mild violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- After their father’s death, the Fukuhara children—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved with their mother to Hiroshima, their parents’ ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry and his sister, Mary, returned there in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry and Mary were sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators, and Harry dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, their brothers, Frank and Pierce, became soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Army.
As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face one another in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of the Fukuhara family.
Alternating between American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylight captures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting, as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—never depicted before in English—and provides a fresh look at the events surrounding the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, here is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.

Review- A very moving family narrative across not just physical distance but emotional. Sakamoto works mainly with two of the brothers but all the of family has a voice in this book. She does not down play anything from the American cruelty to the Japanese bulling of the American born sons.Sakamoto tells the story in a very reader friendly way. She is not just interviewing or reading journals, she brings the story and the people in it to life. She helps American readers to understand the mindset of this family and their cultures. How much Harry wars with himself about what he is doing to help the war. Frank so caught in an impossible place but with hope that it will get better. Sakamoto does a wonderful job with this family and tells a very important, moving story.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I was given this book by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.