Cherry's Review: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris

book cover ARC: 420 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: February 28, 2012
ISBN: 9780758246851

Source of my copy: publisher/author
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
From the award-winning author of Letters from Home comes a poignant novel of love and courage, set against one of the most controversial episodes in American history: the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo. Her brother's best friend, Lane is the handsome, ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie was prepared for disapproval from their families, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, the full force of their decision becomes apparent. In the eyes of a fearful nation, Lane is no longer just an outsider, but an enemy.
When her husband is interned at a war relocation camp, Maddie follows, sacrificing her Juilliard ambitions. Behind barbed wire, tension simmers and the line between patriot and traitor blurs. As Maddie strives for the hard-won acceptance of her new family, Lane risks everything to prove his allegiance to America, at tremendous cost.

Cherry's Review:
I love stories about WWII--both fiction and non-fiction--so when I found out that Michelle was reading this book, I immediately asked to read it.

Bridget of Scarlett Leaves is a great book that explores the experience of Japanese Americans and of those who willingly choose to take their sides during the War. It is a story that is not usually told: the ugly side of America during the war. It is also a story that captures different types of love: family, friendship, kinship, and romance in a type of setting that does its best to break the bonds of love.

McMorris use of three different points of views (Maddie, Lane, and TJ) makes the book really interesting. You see WWII from the eyes of a soldier, a woman at home, and a Japanese-American trying to prove that he belongs. I noticed that she did her best to pay tribute to the WWII stories that she learned during her research. I thought that this was a great way to pay respect to those who lived through WWII even though their stories weren't as popular as other WWII stories. There is also the difference in culture - American vs. Japanese - that butt heads with Maddie all the time! At first, I didn't like Maddie. I thought she lived in a sort of happy bubble, but I grew to love her for the strength that she possessed to follow her heart and to let it go free. The ending which I will not reveal made me cry throughout an entire chapter. So rarely do I read a book that could do that to me. But this is not a sad book. Bridge of Scarlett Leaves is a story that highlights both what is good and bad about our race but, most importantly, it is a testament to the strength of our human souls.

After I read this book, I had to pass it on to my sister. It was fantastic! Read it!


  1. So glad to hear you enjoyed this, because it sounds wonderful. We love the idea of multiple POVs for something like this, and the cultural explorations. Thanks for writing such a great review!

  2. Cherry, I'm happy you enjoyed the book and that the story touched you. I hope your sister likes it just as much!


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