From Publishers Weekly
Readers who are jaded and skeptical about the quality of Christian novels will find Tatlock's fictional exploration of racial discrimination, hatred and the human heart a fine example of the progress being made in the category. It's a memoir-like tale of Augusta Augie Schuler Callahan, an eight-year-old German-Irish girl growing up in California who, as the youngest of six in an abusive and alcoholic family, informally adopts Sunny Yamagata and her Japanese-American family as her own in the late 1930s. War soon separates Augie from her beloved friends, who are deported to an American internment camp for Japanese-Americans. After losing touch for 23 years, they meet again in Mississippi in the racially torn 1960s, where Sunny is working to establish voting rights for blacks. Injustice is a funny thing... live long enough and you're going to get rained on, Sunny tells her friend, and as the story draws to a conclusion, they are challenged to make choices that reflect their own conflicts about race and forgiveness. Tatlock (A Room of My Own; A Place Called Morning) adeptly traces the girls' journey of faith with a light and sometimes humorous touch. She does an excellent job juxtaposing the horrors of Americans in Japanese hands and Japanese-Americans in the hands of their countrymen. Tatlock employs flashbacks efficiently, and her rich descriptions and characterizations are unusually fresh and inventive. Other Christian novelists would do well to emulate this quality contribution.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Against the turbulent backdrop of the Vietnam War, journalist Augie Schuler Callahan reflects on her girlhood in 1938 Los Angeles as she travels to a small Southern town to cover a story. She fondly recalls the Japanese American family who all but adopted her and her friendship with their daughter, Sunny, and agonizes over the end of their relationship when Sunny's family was sent to an internment camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor. When Augie arrives in Mississippi, she discovers that the woman who convinced her to come is Sunny, who is working to establish voting rights for blacks. As the two get reacquainted, they become involved in the conflict between the Ku Klux Klan and the local African American community. Tatlock (A Place Called Morning) writes well, but her emphasis on drawn-out scenes of injustice at the expense of the small, more human elements make her clever juxtaposition of the social issues-the civil rights struggle of the 1960s and the incarceration of Japanese Americans in the 1940s-less thought-provoking and fascinating than it could have been. (For example, while she goes into excessive detail depicting a sit-in on the lawn of a courthouse, Tatlock spends less time exploring Sunny's complicated decision to have plastic surgery to alter her Japanese appearance.) While there are more overt Christian elements than in her first novel, A Room of My Own, a brief, unflattering scene of a priest in a Catholic church may offend some. However, multicultural characters are still a novelty in Christian fiction, so this is recommended for most collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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