Snow Falling on Cedars

Guterson, David

Book - 1995
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Snow Falling on Cedars
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.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1995
Edition: 1st Vintage contemporaries ed
ISBN: 067976402X
Branch Call Number: FIC G
Characteristics: xiii, 460 p. : maps ; 21 cm.


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Dec 18, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A murder triggers memories of World War II, family feuds, racial tensions and star-crossed lovers. Set on an isolated San Juan Island, this is a mystery full of heart and soul.

Oct 20, 2014
  • broo rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

On an island in Puget Sound, in 1954, a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial for murder. Here, despite the beautiful setting, the shadow of World War II -- especially the internment of Japanese Americans -- still hangs over the courtroom.

Jul 23, 2012
  • zaire189 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Very engaging. The author beautifully created a book with a mixture of history and mystery. Highly recommend this book.

Jul 01, 2012
  • NancyWilliams rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was the best book I have read in a while - and I am reading something all the time. I don't know which I enjoyed more, the story or the author's exquisite wiriting. Together they are a terrific read. I'm sure I will find it hard to follow up with another book I enjoy as much as this one for some time. Highly recommend this book.

Jul 01, 2012
  • jeannep rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

My mother grew up on Bainbridge Island during the internment of the Japanese Americans and it was interesting to recognize the locales throughout the book. I loved the story, beautifully written and inspiring.

Jul 01, 2012
  • jvanhoy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What a beautifully told story. It was hard to put down as it gathered steam toward the end. I especially enjoyed the use of the storm and the cramped court room to mirror the tension in the plot.

Jun 26, 2012
  • mikereilly rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Poetic prose, complex characters and a richly described landscape support a love story set against a murder trial. Hard to put down.

Mar 04, 2011
  • dragonsnakes rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Excellent book - highly recommended, well written

Feb 19, 2010
  • kwsmith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This vivid and beautiful novel richly portrays the people and places of a small isolated fishing community. On the surface, the book is a murder mystery courtroom drama which encourages the reader to think analytically about the events described in the book. In contrast, the other part of the book describes a tragic and touching love story where different characters cope with different tragic losses. On both sides of the story, the tragedy results from the dramatic racial tensions between two pacific communities during World War II.


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Jul 18, 2011

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Snow Falling on Cedars
Guterson, David
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