The Diplomat's Daughter

The Diplomat's Daughter

Large Print - 2017
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For fans of All the Light We Cannot See and Orphan Train , the author of the "thought-provoking" ( Library Journal, starred review) and "must-read" ( PopSugar ) novel The Gilded Years crafts a captivating tale of three young people divided by the horrors of World War II and their journey back to one another.
During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.
When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the United States Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front--and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi--unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart.
Fearful of bombings in Tokyo, Emi's parents send her to a remote resort town in the mountains, where many in the foreign community have fled. Cut off from her family, struggling with growing depression and hunger, Emi repeatedly risks her life to help keep her community safe--all while wondering if the two men she loves are still alive.
As Christian Lange struggles to adapt to life as a soldier, his unit pushes its way from the South Pacific to Okinawa, where one of the bloodiest battles of World War II awaits them. Meanwhile, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, as Leo fights to survive the squalor of the Jewish ghetto, a surprise confrontation with a Nazi officer threatens his life. For each man, Emi Kato is never far from their minds.
Flung together by war, passion, and extraordinary acts of selflessness, the paths of these three remarkable young people will collide as the fighting on the Pacific front crescendos. With her "elegant and extremely gratifying" ( USA TODAY ) storytelling, Karin Tanabe paints a stunning portrait of a turning point in history.
Publisher: Farmington Hills, Michigan : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, ©2017.
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781432841126
1432841122
Characteristics: 665 pages ;,23 cm.

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darladoodles
Jul 19, 2017

A big thanks for Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. This is my second book by Karin Tanabe; I read "The Gilded Years" in 2016 and I was looking forward to this new perspective on WW II.

Indeed this book did provide a multitude of information that I had never read about before regarding the Japanese and Germans interned together in Texas and then exchanged for citizens coming back to America from their respective countries. For concept and new perspective as well as the author's own connection to the war in Japan, I would give this book five stars.

The stories of these young people give us all a firsthand look at the hardships experienced by so many factions of society in so many countries during the war. Money was no guarantee of comfort and even though these three families lived in luxury before Hitler came into power -- their accumulated money, treasures an social status were nearly useless with the exception of having more resources to exit a country where death is certain and go to a location where they could at least eke out survival.

We are also reminded (as in "The Gilded Cage") of the walls and barriers faced by those who were the wrong color, wrong nationality or wrong religion. The perception of "wrong" being in the mind of those in Austria, America and Japan. It is hard to read about these situations and see the ingrained prejudices. What will our descendants see in our attitudes and actions when they read out stories?

As I read the book I did find that some of the story was slowed down to a crawl while other aspects were glossed over. Why did the Japanese hate the Chinese in Shanghai so much? Did Leo's family realized how badly Emi was treated by the Hitler Youth right outside their home? How did Christian find Emi after the war?

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