Snow Falling on Cedars

Paperback, 460 pages

English language

Published Oct. 8, 1995 by Vintage Contemporaries.

OCLC Number:
645863831

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (4 reviews)

San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder.

In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries--memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched. Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric, Snow Falling …

27 editions

Review of 'Snow Falling on Cedars' on 'GoodReads'

3 stars

This was so close to being an incredible, essential book, but some fatal flaws halfway ruined it for me.



First the good: it's a powerful story, primarily about the atrocity that was the US's WW2 internment of Japanese-Americans, and with some important secondary themes like how the war itself damaged people and how men can hurt ourselves by internalising all our problems. Guterson's also a very talented writer, switching easily between a precise clinical style that fits the courtroom elements of the story, and a lyrical style that captures the feel of Puget Sound in winter beautifully.



But there were three flaws that by the end of the book really took a lot away in my eyes:



1. The two Japanese families who have major parts in the story feel like instances of a culture, not sets of living breathing characters. Even the two individuals from those families who are …

Review of 'Snow Falling on Cedars' on 'LibraryThing'

3 stars

This was so close to being an incredible, essential book, but some fatal flaws halfway ruined it for me.



First the good: it's a powerful story, primarily about the atrocity that was the US's WW2 internment of Japanese-Americans, and with some important secondary themes like how the war itself damaged people and how men can hurt ourselves by internalising all our problems. Guterson's also a very talented writer, switching easily between a precise clinical style that fits the courtroom elements of the story, and a lyrical style that captures the feel of Puget Sound in winter beautifully.



But there were three flaws that by the end of the book really took a lot away in my eyes:



1. The two Japanese families who have major parts in the story feel like instances of a culture, not sets of living breathing characters. Even the two individuals from those families who are …

Review of 'Snow Falling on Cedars' on 'LibraryThing'

3 stars

This was so close to being an incredible, essential book, but some fatal flaws halfway ruined it for me.



First the good: it's a powerful story, primarily about the atrocity that was the US's WW2 internment of Japanese-Americans, and with some important secondary themes like how the war itself damaged people and how men can hurt ourselves by internalising all our problems. Guterson's also a very talented writer, switching easily between a precise clinical style that fits the courtroom elements of the story, and a lyrical style that captures the feel of Puget Sound in winter beautifully.



But there were three flaws that by the end of the book really took a lot away in my eyes:



1. The two Japanese families who have major parts in the story feel like instances of a culture, not sets of living breathing characters. Even the two individuals from those families who are …

avatar for SlowRain

rated it

5 stars

Subjects

  • Japanese Americans -- Fiction
  • Trials (Murder) -- Fiction
  • Journalists -- Fiction
  • Washington (State) -- Fiction