Why She Left Us

by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0060931825 Global Overview for this book
Registered by cat207 of Gladstone, Queensland Australia on 9/25/2006
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Monday, September 25, 2006
'A haunting novel of uncommon emotional power, "Why She Left Us" weaves in and out of the political persecution and personal tragedies of three generations of a Japanese-American family and exposes the complex, often destructive, bonds of love and honour that tie a family together.

Emi Okada is a young girl who finds herself pregnant and alone on the eve of Word War II. She puts her firstborn, Eric, up for adoption but her mother, horrified that Emi has given up her son, finds the boy and brings him home.

When, fifty years after the war, Emi's other child, Mariko, applies for reparations from the American government for the family's losses during their internment, she stumbles on more than one family secret. As she tries to unravel the mystery that shrouds the events of the past, and to find her lost brother, Mariko must come to terms with the complicity and her own secrets, as well as her feelings of guilt for being the child Emi chose to keep.

Sparely and exquisitely written, "Why She Left Us" is a superbly accomplished first novel that illuminates the universal relationships between mothers and their children, while evoking the power of history to affect individual lives.'

Journal Entry 2 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Monday, December 31, 2007
An excellent start to the new year!

I think this one needs to be shared.

Journal Entry 3 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Going travelling on a Bookray.

scrutiny HK

Sterile UK
Kerriou UK
Midlifecrisis UK
themadjock UK
KiwiinEngland UK

Teddyke FIN
seethroughfaith FIN (asked to be skipped)
Aspen72 FIN (asked to be skipped)

Kasoswife CAN (to be skipped until information about other stalled rays is received)

binkybuffy AUS (asked to be skipped)
Shelly-Sparkles AUS

Supertalya - S. KOREA

No special rules or conditions - just manners!

Journal Entry 4 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Off to scrutiny in Hong Kong, China in tomorrow's mail. Enjoy. X

Journal Entry 5 by scrutiny on Friday, January 18, 2008
I received the book from Australia today! Will start reading it right away :)

Journal Entry 6 by scrutiny on Monday, January 21, 2008
(SPOILERS) Finished the book - it was a good read. I found it a bit convoluted at the end, with several chapters tripping over each other trying to get the reader's attention. I kept expecting a chapter on Emi's story of how she got pregnant and what happened in the years she was missing, but you never find out what really happened. My biggest problem with this is that you never learn from Emi why it is that she chose Mariko over Eric. That question remains unanswered. I'm also a little confused as to why Jack doesn't seem to know George Hamada, when it's George who delivers Mariko at the internment camps. It gets more and more confusing at the end, and the resolution isn't totally satisfactory, like a story half-told. Still, it's interesting to see an aspect of Japanese American experience through WWII and beyond.

I'm sending this book off to the next person in the bookray - Sterile (UK) - in the next few days!

Journal Entry 7 by Sterile from Burnley, Lancashire United Kingdom on Thursday, April 3, 2008
Excellent! the book arrived in the UK this morning and will be the next in line to be read! Thanks scruntiny for mailing this to us from Hong Kong.

Journal Entry 8 by Sterile from Burnley, Lancashire United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 9, 2008
You have to look for the answer to the title 'Why she left us' as the statement is never actually explained. There are different threads running though the book as told by members of the family from their own experiences and perspectives. At first it would seem to be a job to catch the train of thought envolved but it comes clear. Almost like a test to see if you were 'listening' to one of the threads earlier. For example, in one chapter it is mentioned that Emi has a broken nose that has happened recently, but it's not till later in the book that you find out how she came to have such an injury. This type of writing forms the backbone of the book, and I found myself in the first couple of chapters re-reading sections thinking I had missed something. As the story develops it became easier as more structure and detail unfolded.

Mariko as a grown woman seeks reparation from the US Government and needs to get a document to prove that she and other family members were forced to live in a horse stall on a Race track after the attack by the Japanese of Pearl Harbour. When she receives the document she notices that she has a brother called Eric. She never knew she had a brother and indeed has never met some of the other members listed. More lies are made clear through the document, including her birth date and her father.

As told through the members of the family the story unravels from USA involvement in WWII to 1990 when Mariko comes to terms with the ways of a family who for 3 generations have followed a line of honour, lies and self denial. Each person has been given a cross to bear that in some cases destroys not only their own lives but those of other relatives also.

Passing on to Kerriou via Royal Mail

Journal Entry 9 by Kerriou from Swansea, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, April 12, 2008
Arrived safely in the post this morning. Thank you Sterile.
I'm just getting to the end of my current read so I hope to start reading this soon.

Journal Entry 10 by Kerriou from Swansea, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that the reader was left with a few unanswered questions at the end.
Thank you for sharing cat207.

Posted off to Midlifecrisis this morning.

Journal Entry 11 by Midlifecrisis from St. Austell, Cornwall United Kingdom on Friday, April 25, 2008
Received today, and thank you Kerriou for the note.

Journal Entry 12 by Midlifecrisis from St. Austell, Cornwall United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I'm very sorry, I am deluged in "stuff" at the moment and this book seemed very hard to get into - so rather than hold things up I am pm'ing the next person for their details. I will journal again once it is on its way. Sorry to waste people's time.

Journal Entry 13 by Midlifecrisis from St. Austell, Cornwall United Kingdom on Thursday, May 8, 2008
She's on her way to Scotland....

Journal Entry 14 by themadjock from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, May 12, 2008
Received today - thanks Midlifecrisis. Once I've finished my current read, this is next on the list, so shouldn't be too long.

Journal Entry 15 by themadjock from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, May 23, 2008
Like several of the previous readers, I expected more from the story. For me however, the story ended with too many unanswered questions. You never find out why Emi chose Mariko over Eric and I'd have liked to have understood more about Jack's relationship with Eric, which I never felt was expanded.

Although confusing occasionally, I did enjoy the way the story was told by different people and reading about the Japanese-American experience was really interesting.

Thank you very much for sharing Cat207.

27/05 Posted on to kiwiinengland

Journal Entry 16 by wingkiwiinenglandwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, June 8, 2008
Arrived safely - thank you

Journal Entry 17 by wingkiwiinenglandwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Thursday, July 17, 2008
As scrutinty said, it is interesting to see how WWII affected Japanese americans in America. (And amusing to see how the length of the war was shorter over there than in Europe or New Zealand!!!)

The characters are so strongly written and damaged by their own and family expectations as much as the war.

However the book was confusing, as the story is set in various years, and not as satisfactory as many books I have read. Very realistic in that the story is not resolved, but slightly frustrating to invest interest and time and be left so much unanswered.

Journal Entry 18 by wingkiwiinenglandwing at Finland, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, August 17, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (8/16/2008 UTC) at Finland, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases



Posted on to the next on the list. Sorry for the delay.

Journal Entry 19 by Teddyke from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, August 22, 2008
book arrived safely in Finland today. Thanks KiwiinEngland for sending it. Looking forward to reading it!

Journal Entry 20 by Teddyke from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The book is certainly well written and was interesting to read, but what with all the different layers and questions left unanswered, I feel a bit as if I should re-read it to see if I 'missed' something... but it should be on its way shortly...!
I have read about Japanese Americans being interned during WWII in the USA so that part was not new to me but somehow the family seemed partly different from other Japanese I know/have known as well as read about, I wonder if that's just because they had migrated to the USA...

Journal Entry 21 by winghippoleinwing at Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada on Friday, August 29, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (8/29/2008 UTC) at Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada



This book goes now to the last person on the RAY, all the way to Australia.
Hope it arrives safely and fast!

Journal Entry 22 by Shelly-Sparkles on Monday, September 8, 2008
Received in the mail yesterday.
Thanks for posting to me.
I have just started a book and once finished with it will begin Why She Left Us.

Happy Days

Journal Entry 23 by Shelly-Sparkles on Tuesday, September 16, 2008
When the end of the story was open me I was left thinking 'is that it then?'.

Hmmmm. I struggled with this book as it was not cohesive.

Am contacting the next member on the ray and will post it off.

Journal Entry 24 by Supertalya on Monday, October 13, 2008
This was a nice surprise. It sounds great. I should start it soon.

Journal Entry 25 by Supertalya on Friday, October 24, 2008
I really enjoyed this book. I understand why a lot of readers felt that there needed to be more answers and sometimes I felt like that as well. This felt like real life to me. Nothing was tidy and questions were left unanswered. I hated Emi. I don't feel like she ever redeemed herself. It's amazing how the internment camps changed everything for these people. They were Americans.

I am hoping to continue this bookray or make it available to one of the VBB's in Bookobsessed.com

Journal Entry 26 by Supertalya at Wolfhound Bookswap Shelf in Itaewon, Soul-t'ukpyolsi South Korea on Thursday, November 27, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (11/27/2008 UTC) at Wolfhound Bookswap Shelf in Itaewon, Soul-t'ukpyolsi South Korea



Left this on the bookswap shelf.

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