In the dark days of war, a mother makes the ultimate sacrifice Lucy Takeda is just fourteen years old, living in Los Angeles, when the bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor.
Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are ripped from their home, rounded up—along with thousands of other innocent Japanese-Americans—and taken to the Manzanar prison camp. Buffeted by blistering heat and choking dust, Lucy and Miyako must endure the harsh living conditions of the camp.
Corruption and abuse creep into every corner of Manzanar, eventually ensnaring beautiful, vulnerable Miyako. Ruined and unwilling to surrender her daughter to the same fate, Miyako soon breaks. Her final act of desperation will stay with Lucy forever…and spur her to sins of her own.
Bestselling author Sophie Littlefield weaves a powerful tale of stolen innocence and survival that echoes through generations, reverberating between mothers and daughters. It is a moving chronicle of injustice, triumph and the unspeakable acts we commit in the name of love.
"Littlefield has a gift for pacing…page-turning action and evocative, sensual, harrowing descriptions." —Publishers Weekly
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, teenaged Lucy Takeda and her family are sent to the Manzanar relocation camp in the California desert, but her father's death leaves Lucy and her beautiful mother, Miyako, without protection. Inside, survival means a seamstress job and putting up with the aggressive advances of George Rickenbocker, a brutal businessman overseeing Miyako's work at the camp. Rickenbocker, a stereotypical villain, gets Miyako pregnant, casually casts her aside, and makes it clear that Lucy is next. Desperate to protect her daughter, Miyako disfigures Lucy, stabs Rickenbocker to death, and hangs herself, leaving Lucy alone until she's allowed to leave the camp. Years later, in San Francisco, a murder investigation leads the police to Lucy's door, and forces Lucy to tell her own daughter, the same age now that Lucy was in the camp, the horrible tale she's kept inside for so long. By looking at the effects of internment across generations, Littlefield (Hanging by a Thread) makes her tale resonant and universal. While some plot twists are predictable, the gripping story, unfolding over two different decades, makes up for it.