Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield
I read this book as an ARC from NetGalley. I was impressed with the writing, the complexity of emotions, the feelings it invoked... I was also pleasantly surprised that a book from Harlequin wasn't... well, what I thought all Harlequin books were like. To be honest, when I requested the book I thought it was from Harlequin teen. I mightn't have requested it otherwise. For the most part I am glad I did.
Now, a warning... there is some strong language (the "F" word... twice? Maybe once or so more) and a brief.. scene... not terribly explicit, but at the same time it was. It just didn't go on and on.
This book ended with a twist. A mind-blowing twist. Loved that. I love to be surprised in books. It is sometimes easy to predict an ending (especially when there is foreshadowing) and that's okay, but it is really fun to read a book and be so sure you had it figured out and BOOM! You don't. You couldn't have even guessed. Or maybe if you go back you'd see clues, but never the first time through.
This book was set partly in the late 70's and mostly back in the 40's during the Japanese internment at Manzanar. The scene is set so well and the characters are vibrant and alive... the villains practically 3D.
In the end I didn't love the... message? this book sent. I can't say without giving away the ending, but for me I wish things had been different -- that people had been stronger. I also wish that justification wasn't so prevalent. However, it was terribly well written and heart-wrenching.
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