A Washington Post Notable Book: A Japanese Canadian man is haunted by childhood memories of WWII internment camps in this “evocative and cinematic tale” (Maclean’s).
In 1942, in retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Canadian government removes young Bin Okuma and his family from their home at a British Columbia coastal fishing village and forces them into internment camps. Allowed to take only the possessions they can carry, Bin watches looters raid his home before the transport boats even undock. One hundred miles from the “Protected Zone,” abandoned by his father, Bin spends the next five years struggling to adapt in the makeshift shacks of the brutal mountain community. For Bin, it was never forgotten, nor forgiven.
Fifty years later, after his wife’s death, Bin embarks on a road trip across Canada. Accompanied by his dog, his classical music tapes, and his memories, he intends to find his biological father whose fateful decision destroyed his family all those years ago. But Bin must ask himself: does he really want to confront the ghosts of the past, or is it time to finally let them go?
A novel of grief, coming-of-age, and coming to terms with our own personal histories, “Requiem is a great work of literature from a determined author at the peak of her powers” (Ottawa Citizen).