For fans of All the Light We Cannot See and Orphan Train, the
author of the "thought-provoking" (Library Journal, starred review)
and "must-read" (PopSugar) novel The Gilded Years crafts a
captivating tale of three young people divided by the horrors of
World War II and their journey back to one another. During the
turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor,
twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat,
is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels
hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose
German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American
activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of
other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can
bloom in even the bleakest circumstances. When Emi and her mother
are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the United
States Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front-and, he
hopes, a reunion with Emi-unaware that her first love, Leo
Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish
refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart. Fearful of bombings
in Tokyo, Emi's parents send her to a remote resort town in the
mountains, where many in the foreign community have fled. Cut off
from her family, struggling with growing depression and hunger, Emi
repeatedly risks her life to help keep her community safe-all while
wondering if the two men she loves are still alive. As Christian
Lange struggles to adapt to life as a soldier, his unit pushes its
way from the South Pacific to Okinawa, where one of the bloodiest
battles of World War II awaits them. Meanwhile, in
Japanese-occupied Shanghai, as Leo fights to survive the squalor of
the Jewish ghetto, a surprise confrontation with a Nazi officer
threatens his life. For each man, Emi Kato is never far from their
minds. Flung together by war, passion, and extraordinary acts of
selflessness, the paths of these three remarkable young people will
collide as the fighting on the Pacific front crescendos. With her
"elegant and extremely gratifying" (USA TODAY) storytelling, Karin
Tanabe paints a stunning portrait of a turning point in history.
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