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Echoes From a Falling Bridge

Echoes From a Falling Bridge

Author(s): Toni Morgan

Location(s): China, Japan, Papua New Guinea

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): WWII

In 1939, nineteen-year-old Nobuko Ito, born and raised in Fresno, California, sails to Japan to learn the culture and customs of her ancestors. She lives with her host family in the mountain village of Nishimi, where her host, her father’s cousin, works in a pottery factory, the towns major employer. Two years pass. Then, at her parents frantic urging, Nobuko sails for home, but halfway to San Francisco, her ship makes a giant U-turn. Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor. The country she has loved since birth and the country she has come to love are at war. The story follows the lives of three other people: the son of a noble, who leaves his quiet pursuit of art for the war in New Guinea; a farmer-recruit who loses whatever humanity he ever had in the war; and the woman who runs the factory for nearly a decade while her husband is at war, and then is reduced to dusting and serving tea. The story is told in three parts: 1997-98, 1939-1945, and finally back to 1998. A murder occurs in part one. The motive is found in part two. The resolution comes in part three.

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