Book: All The Way Home (Legacy Series) by Ann Tatlockcategories: Book, WWII, Civil Rights, Internment Camps, Japanese History, Freedom Summer, Christian, Vietnam War, Historical Fiction
Ann Tatlockabout this book: It's 1938 in Boyle Heights, CA, and Augie Schuler is a child in search of a family. Her father is dead, her mother an alcoholic, her siblings indifferent. When Augie meets Sunny Yamagata, she knows she has found what she's looking for. Sunny's family lovingly draws her in, giving her a real home for the first time. Then Pearl Harbor is bombed. And the Japanese-Americans are rounded up and sent to internment camps. More than 20 years will pass before Augie sees the Yamagatas again, this time in Carver, Mississippi, in the midst of the civil rights upheaval that is threatening to tear this little town apart. Racial tension, war, family, faith and love are all a part of Augie Schuler's story as she searches for a place to call home.
The Japanese-American internment camps of WWII are a largely overlooked part of our history. Many don't even know they existed. When I first learned about the camps many years ago, I knew I wanted to use them as a backdrop to a story. In doing research, I was able to interview three of our citizens who had spent the war in the camps. Their stories are heart-wrenching—the loss of homes, businesses and everything they had worked for--but also inspiring. They made thriving towns of the camps and afterward they started their lives over.
For the second part of the story, I interviewed my brother-in-law who was one of the student volunteers working for civil rights during Freedom Summer 1964. For his efforts, he was invited to a brief stay at a jailhouse in Greenwood. The battle for civil rights in America was truly a war in which men and women fought and suffered--and some died.
An historical novel, All the Way Home has a timeless message of respect and reconciliation, forgiveness and faith. I hope you will read it and not just enjoy it, but be challenged, inspired and even changed by it.
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