The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner (Historical Fiction)
Most of us are aware that Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast of the United States during World War II were put in internment camps. What many of us might not know is that German-Americans who were suspected of being Nazi sympathizers were also interred.
Elise Sontag and Mariko Inoue are fourteen-year-old Americans in 1943 when they and their families are sent to an internment camp in Texas. Although no one in Elise’s family is a Nazi sympathizer, her family is at risk of being repatriated to Germany, where her parents were born. Likewise, while Mariko was born in the United States, she and her family may also be repatriated to Japan in exchange for American prisoners of war.
Needless to say, their lives are no longer those of carefree American teenagers. Still, as they become best friends, they share their dreams and make plans for their future. And then they are torn apart.
Now, sixty-seven years later, Elise is determined to reconnect with her old friend.
This book just kept getting better and better. The richness of Meissner’s writing drew me in, and the need to know how things turned out kept me reading late into the night. The ending was satisfying while being neither pat nor unrealistic. Meissner (As Bright As Heaven; A Bridge Across the Ocean) creates characters I want to know more about and reveals historical information that is fascinating. I always learn from her books while becoming absorbed in places and times I might not experience otherwise.
This reviewer received an ARC from the publisher with a request for an honest review.
The Last Year of the War will be released on March 19, 2019 and is available for pre-order.