My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Besides being a quick read, this book was not only historically rich with a view into Seattle during times where Jazz was new and racism was old, but was also a touching story of first love and family ties. I gained an open window into the history of WWII, especially the shame that surrounds the American government imprisoning our own citizens solely because of their race.
I enjoyed the age old and overall theme of children who have to find their own way among their parents’ expectations, especially when the parents are sometimes wrong. Ford privileged us with two generations worth of intertwined plots. I normally don’t like books that time travel, but this book was done with such ease that it didn’t bother me at all. Reflection was an important part of this book and memories written as if you were there actually left me with an equal desire to read of the past and present.
Most of all, this book was a love story. I am sure that the overriding love themes are probably the real reason for the book’s popularity. Loyalty to love, loving your choice, the complexities of love and hopes between family members, and always remembering your first love are all the meat of the book. And of course, the most exciting theme of all is that it is never too late for love.
The only complaint I have for the book is the ending. I always struggle with the end of books. If I ever write a book, the end is going to be perfection because I am all about THE END. This end was good, but not prefect. At least it wasn’t a bad ending and that is hugely complimentary from me because I bet 80% of the books that I read have bad endings. Even if the author would have thrown in “and they lived happily ever after” it would have at least given me a little more closure;I am all about the closure, especially when it comes to fiction. When the closure has to be derived from my own imagination, I don’t like it; I want the author to dictate his own story, especially the end.