Title: When the Emperor Was Divine
Author: Julie Otsuka
Length: 144 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
About This Book
This is a well-written historical fiction novel about a Japanese-American family who gets evacuated to an internment camp in Utah during World War II. The novel chronicles the events from before the family is evacuated all the way through when they return home.
I’ve been trying to think of how to describe the way Otsuka writes this story. While we get a glimpse into what happened in this time in history, Otsuka mainly focuses on how the evacuation, internment, and finally the return home affect the particular family in the story. It’s not dramatized or overly emotional. It’s more like the author has laid out events of what happened with this family, letting the reader experience the story from a distance. As the narrative is built and told to the reader in a short amount of pages, the writing is succinct and precise.