As much as a part of me would like to read Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill, the other part of me knows that this book is going to be an incredibly rough read. And, honestly, it’s the sort of thing I can pick up and read occasionally, but not on a consistent basis. I have no idea what the graphic level is going to be in this story, but it is certainly bound to be one of those incredibly emotionally gripping stories that you just cannot help feeling drained from after you’ve finished reading it. I’m not sure when I’ll end up grabbing Within These Lines, but I do look forward to seeing how the story is handled and where it progresses to. I know that there are pieces to this story, simply from reading the synopsis, that I am going to be quite infuriated by, and it begins with racism of the past.
Within These Lines tells the story of two people, Evalina Cassano and Taichi Hamasaki who fall in love set in 1941 California, when interracial marriage is illegal and shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the aftermath which leads to the creation of the Japanese internment camps. If that is not enough to let you know that this book is going to be a rough ride of misery and anger, I don’t know what is. And the fact that people were this awful kills me. The fact that there are still people this awful kills me. And while I am adding this book to my TBR because I do want to read it, I know that it will unquestionably be difficult to get through. I suppose, in the end though, that is the point.
Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family in 1941 is everything it “should be” until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.
Degrading treatment make life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world are treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out on behalf of all Japanese Americans, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.
With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their values and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.
What do you think of this book? Will you be reading it? Passing it up? Let me know in the comments! And, as always, happy reading everyone!