Star Sand, By Roger Pulvers was my Kindle First pick for the month. It was originally released last year in Japanese and will be out in English on 5/01/2016.
For me, this was a beautiful novella, flowing seamlessly over the timespan of the story. The chapters went together fluidly, just the right pace to make a perfect story. My one complaint is that it felt so very short. I worked an eight hour shift today and still read the whole thing in one day! I could not let it go!
It begins April, 02, 1945 on Hatoma Isle in Japan. Umeno Hiromi is half Japanese, half American. Having followed her father back to Japan while her mother and brother stayed in Los Angeles, she feels even more torn apart by the war than others. In the first part we view the world through her diary. She is alone on the island, unsure where her father is or if he is alive. One day while collecting Star Sand from the beach she sees a man going toward the entrance of the cave with a gun pointed at his own head. This is to be her first meeting with two men that will be everything to her in this part of her life: Iwabuchi Takayasu, a Japanese deserter, and an American deserter named Bob. Both are weak and sick, though Bob more than Takayasu. Both are gentle spirits that are disgusted with the war. Hidden in a cave on Hatoma Isle, they rely on Takayasu’s uncle and Hiromi to bring supplies and keep their secret.
When Uncle is in danger of being taken prisoner on minor charges (keeping livestock he should have given up) he leaves the trio alone to fend for themselves-but not before throwing in one large complication. Iwabuchi Hajime is Takayasu’s older brother and completely different from the gentle soul. He hates Takayasu and Hiromi for what he perceives as their crimes against Japan. In gentle Bob, he can only see the American enemy. The four cannot exist together and it ends explosively with three bodies and a diary in a cave.
Part two is a post-war report on the finding on Hatoma Isle. By part three the date is December 12th, 2011. A young college student is working on what she calls her Okinawa project. Basically, about how much was still unknown about Okinawa and how the war ravaged the lives of the people there. Hosaka Shiho delves deep into the libraries and surfaces with the diary of a young girl. Finding inconsistencies, she brings them back to the experts and they find that The diary was written years after the incidents in the cave took place. Shiho can’t let these things go- the diary was found in the cave with the bodies! She has to find out what happened and how it got there! The truth is unbelievable- you have to read it to see!
Again, this book isn’t out in English until 05/01/2016, but you can have it now through Kindle First for $1.99 or preorder it for $5.99. Don’t let this one pass you by! On the adult content scale, I give it a two. There is violence, but this is a book I would hand anyone ten and above. I don’t feel it was meant to be a young adult novel, but it works for both that genre and adult fiction.
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