Entry into this audio is a bit bewildering as Julie Otsuka’s novel uses a first-person-plural point of view to meld the collective stories of Japanese mail-order brides at the turn of the twentieth century. Narrator Samantha Quan quickly dispels the confusion as she delivers the story with a rhythmic cadence. Each “we” introduces the listener to a new chorus of emotions and details. These create a haunting picture of relocation that encompasses adjustment struggles to new husbands and new homes and a stunning portrait of deportation to WWII internment camps. The final section of the story is narrated by Carrington MacDuffie. She presents additional viewpoints—this time of the whites who witness the Japanese women’s departures. MacDuffie captures their feelings of anger, guilt, and righteousness in a discordant coda. S.W. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2011]
Trade Ed. Random House Audio 2011
CD ISBN 9780307940735 $30.00 Four CDs
DD ISBN 9780307940742 $15.00
Library Ed. Books on Tape 2011
CD ISBN 9780307940759 $30.00 Four CDs
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