a lot better then i thought it would be!
From Publishers Weekly
Meticulously crafted and heartfelt, this first novel about the bonds of brotherhood among the sons of a Japanese laborer on a sugar plantation in Maui during the 1950s is raw, precise and indelible. "My family lived in Japanese camp, Row three," says the narrator, Spencer Fujii, "and so, like the sugar cane that surrounded me, I grew to maturity in a row." The adult, narrating Spencer is the last of three sons left to comfort and distract his mother as she succumbs to cancer. His older brother, Taizo, died in a childhood accident. His younger brother, William, was given to the boys' uncle by their father?who felt his duties as an oldest brother to his childless sibling superceded those of husband and father. Iida's prose alternates smoothly between Spencer's polished narration and the rough pidgin English spoken by the island's Japanese-Hawaiians. This juxtaposition of local dialect and eloquent narration works powerfully as Spencer tells of his stern, unyielding father; the pleasurable rhythms of the sugar cane and family life; his escape from Maui by joining the army; and his marriage to a white woman, in defiance of his parents. With children of his own, Spencer now returns to Maui to make peace with his mother, with himself and with his "cousin" William?with whom he shares a secretive burden of guilt over Taizo's death.