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Snow Falling on Cedars : A Novel (Vintage…
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Snow Falling on Cedars : A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) (original 1994; edition 1995)

by David Guterson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,167181442 (3.76)370
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award 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 a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, 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-- one that leaves us shaken and changed. Haunting. A whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence and at the same time a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper.… (more)
Member:cogscilibrarian
Title:Snow Falling on Cedars : A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)
Authors:David Guterson
Info:Vintage (1995), 1st Vintage contemporaries ed, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (1994)

  1. 170
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Very different novels exploring similar themes
  2. 100
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (pdebolt)
    pdebolt: This novel also deals with the internment of Japanese Americans and the heartache endured.
  3. 31
    Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson (browner56)
    browner56: The Pacific Northwest sets the stage for these engrossing and highly atmospheric novels
  4. 10
    Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg (Friederike.Geissler)
  5. 10
    The Sky Fisherman by Craig Lesley (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books show a love for the Pacific Northwest in their setting.
  6. 10
    Sole Survivor by Derek Hansen (KimarieBee)
    KimarieBee: Internment, but in different circumstances
  7. 01
    The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx (sturlington)
    sturlington: Small-town island settings.
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» See also 370 mentions

English (169)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  Danish (1)  Latvian (1)  All languages (180)
Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
Here's what I wrote in 2008 about this read: "Snow falling on cedars sounds so peaceful; the crimes committed, and people around them, jarring (aftermath of WWII Japanese internments). Many times the image of snow falling on cedars in Puget Sound, WA has come to mind since reading this novel." ( )
  MGADMJK | Sep 10, 2022 |
Never before have I read a book that used simple objects to make the story come alive. While reading this book, you will see exactly why the book has its title and would appreciate the author for it. There are themes of war and love written in an intense and beautiful way. The only flaw I would say that there may be confusion in terms of flashbacks and why certain things happened the way that they did. However, it is still a good book that captures the beauty and intensity of the world around us. ( )
  rosaroxxie | Aug 17, 2022 |
Haunting and atmospheric. The writing was so beautiful that I wasn't as annoyed with the overly long descriptions of fishing boats as I would have been in the hands of a less skillful writer. ( )
  SarahMac314 | Aug 12, 2022 |
The story gives the reader a real sense of "being there". I enjoyed the insights into the minds and hearts of an island of very nervous (for good reason) people. The paranoia that swept the U.S. after the Pearl Harbor attacks is usually swept "under the rug". I appreciated a story from the perspectives of both the White-Americans and the Japanese-Americans. The characters are well developed and I empathized with all of them. What I thought was overkill was the fact that the author for some reason felt the need to detail many of the character's sex lives. It would have been fine to include a bit of that here and there, but I really didn't need that many details. Still this was one of those "I can't put it down" books and I enjoyed it. ( )
  DragonsRReal | Aug 6, 2022 |
Beautiful book. I loved the imagery in it. The plot is a bit thin, but the plot is sort of beside the point. The characters and the setting were perfect. A few of the minor characters were a bit two dimensional, but that couldn't be helped. There's a huge cast of characters.

No one has an easy time of things. The characters grow up in financial devastation and as adults witness the horrors of World War.

Women are trapped in various situations because of tradition and their limited rights. Their fears during wartime leads them to make decisions that might not be in their own best interest.

Some of them are stripped of rights because of the way they look and speak. But, mostly because of the way that they look.

Prejudice is usually generational. People my age wince when we hear the term "Jap". Our parents used the term derogatorily and excused themselves with "Pearl Harbor". We were at war with Japan. There was a great deal of propaganda.

German-American citizens and immigrants were rounded up and put in camps during WWI, and a large number of German-Americans and recent German immigrants were put in camps during WWII. People who had recently immigrated from Italy were limited in where they could live and where they could go during WWII. None of this is a secret. There was prejudice. We were at war. The book doesn't mention any of this and it easily could have. It isn't generally taught in schools. Propaganda continues in a different form.

In any case, there are very few people left who were adult decision makers of that day.

I think the book does an excellent job of showing the double standard and the hypocrisy. It also shows characters shedding those same bitter prejudices and becoming better people. That's the best we can hope for. ( )
  rabbit-stew | Jun 26, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Gutersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Demanuelli, ClaudeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Demanuelli, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krüger, ChristaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mijn, Aad van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself
within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.
Ah, how hard a thing it is to tell what a wild,
and rough, and stubborn wood this was,
which in my thought renews the fear!

- Dante
The Divine Comedy
Harmony, like a following breeze
at sea, is the exception.

Harvey Oxenhorn
Tuning the Rig
Dedication
To my mother and father,
with gratitude.
First words
The accused man, Kabuo Miyamoto, sat proudly upright with a rigid grace, his palms placed softly on the defendant's table - the posture of a man who has detached himself insofar as this is possible at his own trial.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English

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Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award 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 a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, 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-- one that leaves us shaken and changed. Haunting. A whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence and at the same time a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
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 a land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Peidro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during WWII, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched. (0-679-76402-X)
Haiku summary
I've not read the booknamed Snow Falling on CedarsDoubt I ever will
SomeGuyinVirginia

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