San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated
that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954
a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese
American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder.
In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what
is at stake is more than one man's guilt. For on San Piedro, memory
grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries
-- memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the
Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land
desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by
the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World
War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its
neighbors watched. Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric, Snow
Falling on Cedars is a masterpiece of suspense -- but one that
leaves us shaken and changed.
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