Different eyes and skin Mock me from the mirror’s light Enemy am I. Dec 7, 1941 Today my life changed forever . . . I am no longer considered American, but by shear heritage I am now the hated enemy . . . The lives of Kenji and Aiko Onishi and their American-born children are about to unravel when the United States is thrust into war with Japan. Confronted by insurmountable prejudice and fear, the family is ripped from their California home without just cause by the American government and sent to an assembly center “for their own protection.” Forced to live in deplorable circumstances, every aspect of their lives regulated and controlled, the Onishi’s freedoms are stripped from their grasp as they struggle to survive behind barbed wire. It isn’t long before the mind-numbing confinement and feelings of helplessness begin to pit the family against one another. When sent to a relocation camp in the center of the Utah desert, they’re beset by ever increasing emotional and physical challenges, and Aiko is faced with her greatest yet: to mend the broken spirits of her family, or risk losing them forever. Based on true and tragic events that transpired during World War II, Rising Sun, Falling Star is a heart-rending story of one family’s struggle to survive uncalculated loss and emotional destruction.
Tonight there was something new on the menu: liver. Meri looked at the brownish-gray, overcooked lump of organ meat and grimaced. Organ meats were considered inedible in Japanese culture, and the thought of tasting such a thing repulsed her. She moved down the line to receive a boiled potato, a scoop of canned peas, a piece of bread, and cold tea.
In turn, each member of her family was served the same grotesque provisions. When their cups were filled with tea, Frank and Jeff peeled away from the family and went to find their separate groups of friends. Reluctantly, Meri followed her parents toward a spot at a table several yards away. She had no group of friends to sit with, and eating with her parents became more and more distasteful to her.
Meri stared at the liver, its smell turning her stomach. She poked at its rubber-like texture with the tines of her fork.
Aiko looked across the table at her. “You eat,” she encouraged. “Long time to breakfast.”
Meri scowled and her upper lip curled into a sneer. “I’m not eating this garbage. I’d rather die.”
Ken filled his spoon with the mushy, pale-green peas. “Our troops are eating a lot less and a lot worse than this. If they can do it, so can we.”
Meri’s eyes narrowed to burning slits. “Who cares what the troops are eating?” she countered. “It’s Hirohito’s fault they’re eating garbage over there, and it’s your fault I’m eating garbage over here!”
Meri’s fingers slid beneath the lip of her plate and with a twist, the plate flew up and across the table, landing upside down next to her mother. She exploded from the bench and pushed her way through the crowds to the door of the mess hall.
Vickie Hall Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she’s not writing, she’s composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/11/13 a Rafflecopter giveaway