Author of The Strange Case of Dr. Couney
Hiro’s War is a remarkable tale of the injustices imposed upon loyal patriotic Japanese Americans before, during and after World War II. While this book is a novel based on true events, it should enlighten readers as it relates the forced evacuation of thousands of families, many were U.S. citizens, from homes, businesses, and farms on the west coast to live in the grim harsh conditions of internment camps throughout the western U.S. during the war.
Taniguchi gives us a bird’s eye view of the hardship and heartaches that interned Japanese Americans endured at this time. She deftly illustrates the sights, sounds, smells of their experience while delving deeply into the pathos of this sad part of American history. Not only do you feel that you are walking with Hiro into war and learning how he earned his stripes and purple hearts, but you will also be a witness to history through the lens of the Japanese American experience stateside. Taniguchi thoughtfully brings each character to life revealing their foibles, strengths and weaknesses.
Hiro’s War was so engaging on several levels. As a reader I enjoy a book that tells a good story, that teaches me something new, and has a story that I can relate to in some way. This book did that for me. I knew very little about the Japanese/ American experience in the internment camps or in the War. The author’s description of Hiro’s and other character’s experiences in the internment camps opened my eyes to that time and made me curious to find out more. In spite of that treatment, these Japanese Americans were willing to sign up and go to war to fight for America- impressive and dreamed of achieving the American Dream. I feared I would be bored during the war section of the novel, but quite the contrary- the author pulled me in; I was in that war. I gained love for some of the soldiers and real hatred for others ( Fowler in particular).