Garden of Her Heart


HISTORICAL:  Miko was fired from her job as a secretary right after the announcement that the US government was going to remove all Japanese to "holding" locations while they built the internment camps later used. Kicked off the bus, she walks to her grandparents' farm, hoping her family is still there. Instead, she finds an injured soldier passed out on the front porch. Rock was a pilot until an accident, and a lengthy stay in the hospital nearly killed him. Determined to die on his land, he barely makes it to a farm he visited as a youth. With no one left to protect her family's land, Rock and Miko have to decide how to keep it—and her—safe.

While stories about the Japanese internment camps are out there, few cover the time period this tale does: just as the round ups begin. Miko is thoroughly American, with a few Japanese flairs, and readers will love learning about this fusion-based life many lived. Miko and Rock are both sensible people, taking life as it comes, making the best choices they can. Arguments are solved by talking; problems are fixed as a united front. There are a few too many "a day in the life of" moments that only slow events down; several scenes could have been trimmed to keep things moving. Contrasted to their near perfection, the bad guy was too bad. There needed to be a little more "realisticness". An amazing read about a time and place few lived through and even fewer remember, "Garden of Her Heart" should not be missed by any reader.

Julie York