When the Emperor was Divine, by Julie Otsuka. It is a lovely book--a crystal clear prose style, a quiet truth telling from the perspectives of multiple characters inside that unifying style, and the story of Japanese Americans in 1942 suddenly "reclassified" in the middle of their lives and sent off to internment camps.
I'm reading this one at my daughter's request, as she is reading it for school and really likes it. Whenever my daughter asks me to read something, I do it. It's a wonderful way to connect. The other night she asked me to read it aloud to her while she ate her bedtime snack of sliced strawberries and mandarin oranges.
My book group read Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford, which addresses the same historical moment, but I am liking this even better for its swift telling and simplicity.
I use "simplicity" as a word of praise here, far from "simplistic," a damning word, and I notice that not everyone out there makes that distinction, so I am clarifying here. It is a directness, and, in this case, a fullness inside restraint. It is a trust, a confidence, that saying what is there will be enough.
No need to embellish or over-explain or tell the reader what to feel. The reader can be trusted to feel what is there if you say what is there. I admire this in poetry, too, so I'd call this a poetic style.
April 24 poem-a-day prompt: Easter