This mesmerizing exploration of war, love, prejudice, and justice culminates in a dramatic courtroom scene. On a small island in Puget Sound, a Japanese fisherman, accused of killing another fisherman in 1954, faces the kind of prejudice that supposedly disappeared after World War II. Flashbacks describe the horror of war as well as the innocent and doomed love between the young island newspaper editor and Hatsue Miyamoto, the future wife of the defendant. Guterson claims to have been inspired by Romeo and Juliet and To Kill a Mockingbird, both of which he has taught in high school English classes, but his creation is magnificently original. Reader Peter Marinker describes the dark cedars and low mists of the island and dramatizes the action of the trial with such sensitive skill that listeners are treated to an experience beyond that of reading the print version. Highly recommended.‘Jo Carr, Sarasota, Fla.
Compelling . . . heart-stopping. Finely wrought, flawlessly
written.-the New York Times Book Review
Luminous . . . a beautifully assured and full-bodied novel [that] becomes a tender examination of fairness and forgiveness . . . Guterson has fashioned something haunting and true.-Time
Haunting . . . A whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence and at the same time a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper.-Los Angeles Times