The heart-rending true story of two families on either side of the Second World War-and a moving tribute to the nature of forgivenessWhen the Second World War broke out, Ralph MacLean traded his quiet yet troubled life on the Magdalene Islands in eastern Canada for the ravages of war overseas. On the other side of the country, Mitsue Sakamoto and her family felt their pleasant life in Vancouver starting to fade away after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.Ralph found himself one of the many Canadians captured by the Japanese in December 1941. He would live out his war in a prison camp, enduring beatings, starvation, electric feet and a journey on a hell ship to Japan, watching his friends and countrymen die all around him. Mitsue and her family were ordered out of their home and were packed off to a work farm in rural Alberta, leaving many of their possessions behind. By the end of the war, Ralph was broken but had survived. The Sakamotos lost everything when the community centre hou...
|Number of Pages||:||272 pages|
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(3.5) Quite a book-worthy family tree!
I enjoyed reading Mark's narratives of his grandparents and parents. I learned a lot about how Japanese were treated in Canada during World War II (particularly in British Columbia). How awful this was, but how it was crucial to Mark ever coming into existence. The lives that his families lived were certainly eventful and worthy of being written down. The narrative is largely engaging, but could be a little more literary and definitely could benefit from mor ...more
Every March in Canada we have this odd competition, Canada Reads. It began in 2002 and features five panelists arguing over five books over four days vying to be the worthy book. Each year there is a theme and this year it was the “book to open your eyes.” Yes with all that snow (it’s been a long winter) Canadians are drawn together by a “book fight.” The panelists are varied, including a tornado hunter, a fashion journalist, a singer, an actor and a TV host. And the books are quite varied as we ...more
Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto won the Canada Reads award for 2018. Jeanne Beker defended this book to the end and it was an outstanding win. I was drawn to the story line and couldn't wait to read the book. I was certainly not disappointed. I learned more about the Second World War and how Japanese took POW and how Canada dealth with Japanese Canadian's and internment. It is so unfortunate when man evokes harm in the most cruel and inhumane way toward other men and women in society.
This book is a ...more
Wow. Not at all what I expected. I had heard that the book involved Canadian prisoners of Japanese war camps and the expulsion of Japanese Canadians from their homes. I thought I knew something about both of these subjects, and I usually avoid books about war as I find them too upsetting. But...he had me at the title. Forgiveness is a subject I’ve spent a lifetime struggling with. I wondered how either of the groups described could possibly forgive their transgressors. Also my friends and Canada ...more
All in all a good book, especially for a debut novel. My rating of a three stems from my desire for the book to have delved farther into the process of forgiveness between the author's maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother. Sakamoto does a great job in the first 3/4 of the book describing the experiences of both these grandparents - one as a POW prisoner and one as a displaced Japanese Canadian. What happened to these individuals after these experiences? Did the POW grandfather suffer fr ...more
FORGIVENESS: A Gift from My Grandparents by Mark Sakamoto is the heart-rending true story of two people on either side of the war and a moving tribute to the nature of forgiveness. This book is the winner of the Canada Reads Prize in the year 2018!
Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. "
"A relatable journey of real-life ups and downs-humble reminders throughout, to be more kind and forgiv ...more
One of the best books I have ever read. The stunning and at times horrific story is written in a real and impactful style.
Favourite part: The pacing of the book was fantastic. The reader experiences a buildup to what seems to be the climax, and then a slight reprieve before building up again to the final climax and denouement.
Least favourite part: Honestly not much. The authors part of the story following the climax seemed at times a bit rushed. He could have expanded more upon his personal expe ...more