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Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
Week One

Welcome to the first featured selection of the new year. I hope you’ll enjoy this novel as much as I did and enjoy Kristina’s participation as well.

 

First thoughts

 

Thoughts on the characters. Are there any that stand out yet? Are there any that you have strong feelings for yet?

 

Were you surprised by the arranged marriage that precipitated Lane’s proposal?

 

Prejudice; let’s talk about the prejudice that happened after the attacks.
Do you think it was there before?


Were you aware of the treatment of the Japanese at the outbreak of war?

 

 

Scribe
Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves


dhaupt wrote:

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
Week One

Welcome to the first featured selection of the new year. I hope you’ll enjoy this novel as much as I did and enjoy Kristina’s participation as well.

 

First thoughts

 

Thoughts on the characters. Are there any that stand out yet? Are there any that you have strong feelings for yet?

 

Were you surprised by the arranged marriage that precipitated Lane’s proposal?

 

No, arranged marriages were a part of the Japanese culture.  Lane's parents still lived immersed in the Japanese culture, even though they had moved to the United States many years before.  Their "community" continued to be that culture.  In the LA area there are sections called "Little China", Little Mexico", Little, India", ...  Lane's parents lived and worked in "Little Japan", so to speak.

 

Prejudice; let’s talk about the prejudice that happened after the attacks.
Do you think it was there before?

 

The tension between the governments of the United States and Japan had been building for a good while before December 7, 1942.  For a background of the underlying issues:  http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/worldwarii/a/wwiipaccauses_2.htm  

American pilots fought the Japanese on behalf of the Chinese (The Flying Tigers), as well as other groups that fought the Japanese along side the Australians, English, and Chinese before  Pearl Harbor.  The American Media followed their stories and cheered them on as heros in the press as the fought the "devil Japanese tyrants".   A whole atmosphere of anti-Japan was built over several years.

By the time Pearly Harbor happened, the US knew we would be going to war with Japan, it was just a matter of when.  We were already building up ships, troops and aircraft in the pacific in preparation.  We just didn't realize they would get the drop on us. .....  Dis-trust of the Japanese population on the West Coast was every bit as bad as German distrust on the East Coast.

 

Were you aware of the treatment of the Japanese at the outbreak of war?

 

 Yes.  I lived in Santa Fe, NM as a child and for 30 plus years, as an adult.  Some of the dorm buildings are still standing off Agua Fria, where they were moved from the Casa Solana area when that area was developed as a housing division after the war.  In fact, one of the buildings was being lived in for years by someone.  Kinda off the grid.

My dad grew up in New Mexico and knew about the internment camps.  He told me the stories as a kid about the camps and later as an adult had more for me. One story he shared  about a Japanese family from El Paso (after we moved from El Paso) was about my best friend's uncle.   His uncle had been caught with a short wave radio under the bridge over the Rio Grande and was executed.  The rest of the family was sent to internment camp.  His parents, even in the 60s were still very quiet and withdrawn after the years of internment.  D.Y. was a true 2nd generation and was American to the bone, but never took anyone home to his house.  

Looking back, I realize now, that I was the only friend D.Y. had and he was the only friend I had.

It was simply a matter of we were different than everyone else in our class.

People are afraid of what they do not understand and of people who are different and have different customs than they do.  With the start of the war this turned into manic behavior and pack mentality.
 
Muse

 

A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
Wordsmith
elaine_hf
Posts: 389
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves


dhaupt wrote:

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
Week One

Welcome to the first featured selection of the new year. I hope you’ll enjoy this novel as much as I did and enjoy Kristina’s participation as well.

 

First thoughts

 

Thoughts on the characters. Are there any that stand out yet? Are there any that you have strong feelings for yet?

 

Were you surprised by the arranged marriage that precipitated Lane’s proposal?

 

Prejudice; let’s talk about the prejudice that happened after the attacks.
Do you think it was there before?


Were you aware of the treatment of the Japanese at the outbreak of war?

 

 


Some very quick initial thoughts - 

 

I tend to worry about characters when I see they are headed for trouble, and Lane and Maddie are no exception. I felt from the first that they had 'disaster' written all over them, but we never see that when we're young. I know that my first thoughts should be that I like Lane's father, don't like Lane's mother, adore his sister (which I do) and love Lane. But for some reason, I'm finding that I'm feeling a little bit adverse towards Lane and Maddie. Maybe it's too much deceit towards the people who love them, maybe it's because they're making me worry  ;-)   I know that my feelings towards them will change, but right now they just make me tense. TJ, on the other hand, makes me very concerned, due to his anger issues and his overprotectiveness. That was not a time when most people, particularly men, chose to 'explore their feelings', but how he could have used some time on the psychiatrist's couch regarding his feelings about his father.

 

I'm not surprised by the arranged marriage, but I am surprised at how easily Lane decided to go against his parents' wishes. I read a lot of literature by and about Indian women, particularly regarding that delicate, confusing time when there is a move to the United States and they have one foot in their home village, one foot in the new country. So the division in this family regarding culture is not surprising, and I'm certain that Lane has conflicted feelings. 

 

While I wasn't alive at the onset or the conclusion of WWII, I am aware of the treatment of the Japanese during this time. I am so uncomfortable with the way that this country treated that group of people, but I realize that there were some strong feelings of patriotism and that people do things in that light that we later come to disapprove. And yes, I think there was prejudice earlier, in that it's noted that it is illegal for 'interrracial' couples' to marry, and that people looked on disapprovingly when Lane and Maddie kissed. Just her discomfort in publicly displaying affection is a tip off that there is an awareness of that disapproval.

 

That's about all I can say now, as I'm just finishing up the section. But I think this book promises to keep us interested and involved!

Elaine

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves


Mountain_Muse wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
Week One

Welcome to the first featured selection of the new year. I hope you’ll enjoy this novel as much as I did and enjoy Kristina’s participation as well.

 

First thoughts

 

Thoughts on the characters. Are there any that stand out yet? Are there any that you have strong feelings for yet?

 

Were you surprised by the arranged marriage that precipitated Lane’s proposal?

 

No, arranged marriages were a part of the Japanese culture.  Lane's parents still lived immersed in the Japanese culture, even though they had moved to the United States many years before.  Their "community" continued to be that culture.  In the LA area there are sections called "Little China", Little Mexico", Little, India", ...  Lane's parents lived and worked in "Little Japan", so to speak.

 

Prejudice; let’s talk about the prejudice that happened after the attacks.
Do you think it was there before?

 

The tension between the governments of the United States and Japan had been building for a good while before December 7, 1942.  For a background of the underlying issues:  http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/worldwarii/a/wwiipaccauses_2.htm  

American pilots fought the Japanese on behalf of the Chinese (The Flying Tigers), as well as other groups that fought the Japanese along side the Australians, English, and Chinese before  Pearl Harbor.  The American Media followed their stories and cheered them on as heros in the press as the fought the "devil Japanese tyrants".   A whole atmosphere of anti-Japan was built over several years.

By the time Pearly Harbor happened, the US knew we would be going to war with Japan, it was just a matter of when.  We were already building up ships, troops and aircraft in the pacific in preparation.  We just didn't realize they would get the drop on us. .....  Dis-trust of the Japanese population on the West Coast was every bit as bad as German distrust on the East Coast.

 

Were you aware of the treatment of the Japanese at the outbreak of war?

 

 Yes.  I lived in Santa Fe, NM as a child and for 30 plus years, as an adult.  Some of the dorm buildings are still standing off Agua Fria, where they were moved from the Casa Solana area when that area was developed as a housing division after the war.  In fact, one of the buildings was being lived in for years by someone.  Kinda off the grid.

My dad grew up in New Mexico and knew about the internment camps.  He told me the stories as a kid about the camps and later as an adult had more for me. One story he shared  about a Japanese family from El Paso (after we moved from El Paso) was about my best friend's uncle.   His uncle had been caught with a short wave radio under the bridge over the Rio Grande and was executed.  The rest of the family was sent to internment camp.  His parents, even in the 60s were still very quiet and withdrawn after the years of internment.  D.Y. was a true 2nd generation and was American to the bone, but never took anyone home to his house.  

Looking back, I realize now, that I was the only friend D.Y. had and he was the only friend I had.

It was simply a matter of we were different than everyone else in our class.

People are afraid of what they do not understand and of people who are different and have different customs than they do.  With the start of the war this turned into manic behavior and pack mentality.
 
Muse

 


Thanks for adding your personal knowledge Muse of what was going on during that time. I guess I pretty much lived in a protective bubble because I was never aware of it until much later. And how different views existed at different locations around the country.

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves


elaine_hf wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
Week One

Welcome to the first featured selection of the new year. I hope you’ll enjoy this novel as much as I did and enjoy Kristina’s participation as well.

 

First thoughts

 

Thoughts on the characters. Are there any that stand out yet? Are there any that you have strong feelings for yet?

 

Were you surprised by the arranged marriage that precipitated Lane’s proposal?

 

Prejudice; let’s talk about the prejudice that happened after the attacks.
Do you think it was there before?


Were you aware of the treatment of the Japanese at the outbreak of war?

 

 


Some very quick initial thoughts - 

 

I tend to worry about characters when I see they are headed for trouble, and Lane and Maddie are no exception. I felt from the first that they had 'disaster' written all over them, but we never see that when we're young. I know that my first thoughts should be that I like Lane's father, don't like Lane's mother, adore his sister (which I do) and love Lane. But for some reason, I'm finding that I'm feeling a little bit adverse towards Lane and Maddie. Maybe it's too much deceit towards the people who love them, maybe it's because they're making me worry  ;-)   I know that my feelings towards them will change, but right now they just make me tense. TJ, on the other hand, makes me very concerned, due to his anger issues and his overprotectiveness. That was not a time when most people, particularly men, chose to 'explore their feelings', but how he could have used some time on the psychiatrist's couch regarding his feelings about his father.

 

I'm not surprised by the arranged marriage, but I am surprised at how easily Lane decided to go against his parents' wishes. I read a lot of literature by and about Indian women, particularly regarding that delicate, confusing time when there is a move to the United States and they have one foot in their home village, one foot in the new country. So the division in this family regarding culture is not surprising, and I'm certain that Lane has conflicted feelings. 

 

While I wasn't alive at the onset or the conclusion of WWII, I am aware of the treatment of the Japanese during this time. I am so uncomfortable with the way that this country treated that group of people, but I realize that there were some strong feelings of patriotism and that people do things in that light that we later come to disapprove. And yes, I think there was prejudice earlier, in that it's noted that it is illegal for 'interrracial' couples' to marry, and that people looked on disapprovingly when Lane and Maddie kissed. Just her discomfort in publicly displaying affection is a tip off that there is an awareness of that disapproval.

 

That's about all I can say now, as I'm just finishing up the section. But I think this book promises to keep us interested and involved!

Elaine


Elaine, thanks for your thoughts.

You're right about disaster written all over Maddie and Lane and I understand your adverse feelings about their deception to their families.

I on the other hand truly understand their deceit and I think it has more to do with Maddie's education then their social and ethnic backgrounds especially the way TJ's protectiveness is since the "accident" because of a statement that Maddie made about TJ not being okay with her dating anyone.

 

We'll see where they go from here.

 

Wordsmith
elaine_hf
Posts: 389
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves


dhaupt wrote:

elaine_hf wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

 


 


Elaine, thanks for your thoughts.

You're right about disaster written all over Maddie and Lane and I understand your adverse feelings about their deception to their families.

I on the other hand truly understand their deceit and I think it has more to do with Maddie's education then their social and ethnic backgrounds especially the way TJ's protectiveness is since the "accident" because of a statement that Maddie made about TJ not being okay with her dating anyone.

 

We'll see where they go from here.

 


Thanks, Deb, you're right, their deceit really is understandable in many ways. And who isn't guilty of the same, at some point in their life? I guess the thing that bothered me is that it affects so many other people, and it relies on having to bring other people into their sticky web. And, of course, as a mother I know that my own kids have sometimes 'shielded' me from uncomfortable truths, so to see it played out in other people is a little uncomfy perhaps....

Elaine

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
Distinguished Wordsmith
aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Since inheriting my grandpa's scrapbook from World War II, I have been deeply fascinated with novels revolving around that time period. I find with every story I read taking place in that era, that I have something new to take away from it. So, I knew right away that this book would be a hit with me. I loved the way this novel started out with Maddie keeping her relationship with Lane a secret from everyone. It added a sense of intrigue for me, wondering if they would get caught, how other people would react to their dating, if in the end others' opinions would influence their choice to be together. From the beginning, the characters got into my head and I couldn't wait to find out their entire story.

 

Immediately I was drawn to Maddie and Lane's relationship, curious if they would be able to  stay together or if outside forces would break them apart. Even as individuals they fascinated me. Maddie was determined to attend Juilliard and Lane had accepted an internship with Congressman Egan's office. They were young and in love, but also very focused on what career path they wanted to take. Their future together could seem very bright (if they could get their families to accept them as a couple), but after the attack on Pearl Harbor all their dreams were torn apart.

 

The person I had a hard time relating to in the beginning was TJ. He was extremely overprotective of Maddie. I knew their mother had died and their father was in a home, but I had a hard time understanding TJ's anger toward his father because he was so closed off. When we learn the death of his mother was caused when his father collided with another driver on a curved road and his father had been drinking, I finally understood why he was so upset with his father and why he was so angry all the time. I also came to understand why he felt the need to protect a grown-up Maddie.

 

I was not surprised that Lane's parents wanted him to have an arranged marriage, that was a part of their culture. Although they lived in the United States they still valued their culture and tried to keep it alive, even speaking only Japanese at home. I think this was their way of passing their heritage on to their children. I was more surprised that Lane proposed to Maddie knowing it could possibly cause his family to shut him out of their lives forever. Lane seemed close to his family, especially his sister and I knew it had to be a hard decision for him to have to choose between following his heart and marrying Maddie or pleasing his parents and being unhappy for the rest of his life.

 

I think there was prejudice even before the attack on Pearl Harbor evident when people stared when Maddie and Lane kissed, or that interracial couples were not allowed to marry where they lived. After Pearl Harbor though, people were nervous the attacks would come closer to home and they were willing to go to any lengths to guarantee their safety. It's greatly disturbing to me how poorly they treated their fellow human beings in order to make themselves feel safer.

 

The first time I was aware of how the Japanese were treated in America during World War II was when I read The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I was shocked that I had no knowledge whatsoever of this time in history. It was never taught to us in school. It's appalling to read how the Japanese were treated, but it's an important piece of history for people to learn about, so this kind of treatment never happens again.

April
Scribe
Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Deb/Elaine,
I agree, deceit and lying are not the basis for the start of a good relationship. You can be kind with the truth, but lies only harm.
Muse
A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
Scribe
Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Sometimes I think that the fact that we had internment camps for both German and Japanese prisoners of war and Americans here in the United States has been managed to be quietly swept under the rug until the last few years when the survivors and children of the survivors have finally become vocal about the treatment of their families, just because of their nationality. I am glad to see some books and historical fiction being written about this subject and period of time. As long as attention is paid to accuracy and detail they serve a great purpose of filling in the missing pages of our history and give us glimpses of little known fragments of the great conflict.
Muse
A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves


aprilh wrote:

Since inheriting my grandpa's scrapbook from World War II, I have been deeply fascinated with novels revolving around that time period. I find with every story I read taking place in that era, that I have something new to take away from it. So, I knew right away that this book would be a hit with me. I loved the way this novel started out with Maddie keeping her relationship with Lane a secret from everyone. It added a sense of intrigue for me, wondering if they would get caught, how other people would react to their dating, if in the end others' opinions would influence their choice to be together. From the beginning, the characters got into my head and I couldn't wait to find out their entire story.

 

Immediately I was drawn to Maddie and Lane's relationship, curious if they would be able to  stay together or if outside forces would break them apart. Even as individuals they fascinated me. Maddie was determined to attend Juilliard and Lane had accepted an internship with Congressman Egan's office. They were young and in love, but also very focused on what career path they wanted to take. Their future together could seem very bright (if they could get their families to accept them as a couple), but after the attack on Pearl Harbor all their dreams were torn apart.

 

The person I had a hard time relating to in the beginning was TJ. He was extremely overprotective of Maddie. I knew their mother had died and their father was in a home, but I had a hard time understanding TJ's anger toward his father because he was so closed off. When we learn the death of his mother was caused when his father collided with another driver on a curved road and his father had been drinking, I finally understood why he was so upset with his father and why he was so angry all the time. I also came to understand why he felt the need to protect a grown-up Maddie.

 

I was not surprised that Lane's parents wanted him to have an arranged marriage, that was a part of their culture. Although they lived in the United States they still valued their culture and tried to keep it alive, even speaking only Japanese at home. I think this was their way of passing their heritage on to their children. I was more surprised that Lane proposed to Maddie knowing it could possibly cause his family to shut him out of their lives forever. Lane seemed close to his family, especially his sister and I knew it had to be a hard decision for him to have to choose between following his heart and marrying Maddie or pleasing his parents and being unhappy for the rest of his life.

 

I think there was prejudice even before the attack on Pearl Harbor evident when people stared when Maddie and Lane kissed, or that interracial couples were not allowed to marry where they lived. After Pearl Harbor though, people were nervous the attacks would come closer to home and they were willing to go to any lengths to guarantee their safety. It's greatly disturbing to me how poorly they treated their fellow human beings in order to make themselves feel safer.

 

The first time I was aware of how the Japanese were treated in America during World War II was when I read The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I was shocked that I had no knowledge whatsoever of this time in history. It was never taught to us in school. It's appalling to read how the Japanese were treated, but it's an important piece of history for people to learn about, so this kind of treatment never happens again.


April, thank you for your great comments. As you know I'm an opptimist at heart so like Elaine when I saw disaster written all over Maddie and Lane's relationship I can only hope for the best.

And I like you wasn't aware of the internment camps until later in life, never having learned about it in my history books at school. And like you I really enjoy learning more about this time in our history.

I encourage you all to look at my other picks for 2013, which is just about full already :smileyhappy: we have another selection about WWII coming in October and several around WWI.

 

Scribe
ReadingPatti
Posts: 2,530
Registered: ‎10-24-2008

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves Week One

Welcome to the first featured selection of the new year. I hope you’ll enjoy this novel as much as I did and enjoy Kristina’s participation as well.

 

First thoughts: I think that the book has an interesting premise.

 

Thoughts on the characters. Are there any that stand out yet? Are there any that you have strong feelings for yet? Innocent, and first love.Secrets. Not yet.

 

Were you surprised by the arranged marriage that precipitated Lane’s proposal? Yes, but then arranged marriages were part of the culture.

 

Prejudice; let’s talk about the prejudice that happened after the attacks. Do you think it was there before? No sure. Perhaps it was there just not apparen.

Were you aware of the treatment of the Japanese at the outbreak of war? Yes,  had read a book by Danielle Steel who wrote about the treatment.

 

I think that this is a book that could tell people about what happened back then and how love prevails.

 

ReadingPatti

 

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves


ReadingPatti wrote:

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves Week One

Welcome to the first featured selection of the new year. I hope you’ll enjoy this novel as much as I did and enjoy Kristina’s participation as well.

 

First thoughts: I think that the book has an interesting premise.

 

Thoughts on the characters. Are there any that stand out yet? Are there any that you have strong feelings for yet? Innocent, and first love.Secrets. Not yet.

 

Were you surprised by the arranged marriage that precipitated Lane’s proposal? Yes, but then arranged marriages were part of the culture.

 

Prejudice; let’s talk about the prejudice that happened after the attacks. Do you think it was there before? No sure. Perhaps it was there just not apparen.

Were you aware of the treatment of the Japanese at the outbreak of war? Yes,  had read a book by Danielle Steel who wrote about the treatment.

 

I think that this is a book that could tell people about what happened back then and how love prevails.

 

ReadingPatti

 


Thanks for your thoughts Patti

 

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Remember that Kristina is following the threads here so if you have anything you'd like to ask her  don't hesitate.

 

 

I'd like to ask you Kristina; In your interview you mentioned a family friend that fought for the US while his brother fought for Japan. Did his brother survive the War?

 

 

And I also want to thank you so much for being here with us too 

Author
Kristina_McMorris
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎12-28-2012

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Hi, everyone! It's a pleasure to join all of you here. 

 

Thanks so much for your thoughts so far on the book. I hope you're enjoying the read!

 

To answer your question, Deb, there are now two particular cases of gentlemen I know who fought for the U.S. while their brother(s) served for Japan. In one case, his brother survived; in the other, as you'll read about in my Author's Note, he actually witnessed his own unit shoot down several Japanese fighter planes, only to discover months later that one of the pilots was his brother. 

 

In the course of my research, there have been so many tragic stories like these...but also many that inspire with hope and compassion. I hope I've successfully conveyed both sides throughout the story. :smileyhappy:

 

Author
Kristina_McMorris
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎12-28-2012

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

[ Edited ]

I completely agree, Muse! I too love to read well-researched historical fiction. In fact, I often liken it to Advil...you get the sugarcoating of a story on the outside, without realizing how much medicine you've absorbed from the inside. :smileyhappy:

As for this portion of history being "swept under the rug," I think much of that is also a result of the Japanese American culture, in that they believed strongly in moving on afterward, pretending it didn't happen, and staying true to the humbleness of their roots -- certainly an admirable trait, but one that aided the ease of which this episode in history could be glossed over.

Thanks for your thoughts!

 


Mountain_Muse wrote:
Sometimes I think that the fact that we had internment camps for both German and Japanese prisoners of war and Americans here in the United States has been managed to be quietly swept under the rug until the last few years when the survivors and children of the survivors have finally become vocal about the treatment of their families, just because of their nationality. I am glad to see some books and historical fiction being written about this subject and period of time. As long as attention is paid to accuracy and detail they serve a great purpose of filling in the missing pages of our history and give us glimpses of little known fragments of the great conflict.
Muse



Author
Kristina_McMorris
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎12-28-2012

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

 

Hi April, 

 

How wonderful that you inherited such a special treasure from you grandfather! I know how much I cherish the letters my own grandfather wrote to my grandma throughout WWII. 

 

I'm SO happy the characters have intrigued you from the beginning. And yes, TJ is a tough nut, for certain. As I'm sure you've gathered, he has a lot of room for personal growth before war's end....  :smileyhappy:

 

As you might know, arranged marriages still occur in Japan to this day; in fact, my grandmother in Japan was NOT thrilled when my dad zipped off to America and married my Caucasian mother, despite my grandmother having already "chosen" a bride for him back in Japan. Now...had a daughter done the same, I truly believe the family would have been more likely to cut her off. But in their culture, like it or not, boys are treated more leniently -- even when they outright defy their family's wishes. 

 

Hope you continue to enjoy the book!



aprilh wrote:

Since inheriting my grandpa's scrapbook from World War II, I have been deeply fascinated with novels revolving around that time period. I find with every story I read taking place in that era, that I have something new to take away from it. So, I knew right away that this book would be a hit with me. I loved the way this novel started out with Maddie keeping her relationship with Lane a secret from everyone. It added a sense of intrigue for me, wondering if they would get caught, how other people would react to their dating, if in the end others' opinions would influence their choice to be together. From the beginning, the characters got into my head and I couldn't wait to find out their entire story.

 

Immediately I was drawn to Maddie and Lane's relationship, curious if they would be able to  stay together or if outside forces would break them apart. Even as individuals they fascinated me. Maddie was determined to attend Juilliard and Lane had accepted an internship with Congressman Egan's office. They were young and in love, but also very focused on what career path they wanted to take. Their future together could seem very bright (if they could get their families to accept them as a couple), but after the attack on Pearl Harbor all their dreams were torn apart.

 

The person I had a hard time relating to in the beginning was TJ. He was extremely overprotective of Maddie. I knew their mother had died and their father was in a home, but I had a hard time understanding TJ's anger toward his father because he was so closed off. When we learn the death of his mother was caused when his father collided with another driver on a curved road and his father had been drinking, I finally understood why he was so upset with his father and why he was so angry all the time. I also came to understand why he felt the need to protect a grown-up Maddie.

 

I was not surprised that Lane's parents wanted him to have an arranged marriage, that was a part of their culture. Although they lived in the United States they still valued their culture and tried to keep it alive, even speaking only Japanese at home. I think this was their way of passing their heritage on to their children. I was more surprised that Lane proposed to Maddie knowing it could possibly cause his family to shut him out of their lives forever. Lane seemed close to his family, especially his sister and I knew it had to be a hard decision for him to have to choose between following his heart and marrying Maddie or pleasing his parents and being unhappy for the rest of his life.

 

 

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dhaupt
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Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves


Kristina_McMorris wrote:

Hi, everyone! It's a pleasure to join all of you here. 

 

Thanks so much for your thoughts so far on the book. I hope you're enjoying the read!

 

To answer your question, Deb, there are now two particular cases of gentlemen I know who fought for the U.S. while their brother(s) served for Japan. In one case, his brother survived; in the other, as you'll read about in my Author's Note, he actually witnessed his own unit shoot down several Japanese fighter planes, only to discover months later that one of the pilots was his brother. 

 

In the course of my research, there have been so many tragic stories like these...but also many that inspire with hope and compassion. I hope I've successfully conveyed both sides throughout the story. :smileyhappy:

 


Thanks for answering Kristina

I just so happened to find a book trailer for Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, it's a great trailer

 

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Kristina_McMorris
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Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Elaine and Deb -- 

 

I second that motion! Deceit is not the strongest foundation for building a relationship, as Lane and Maddie discovered very quickly. But when you're young and in love, wise choices aren't typically a priority. Right? LOL. 

 

I'll add in that the time period, in my opinion, strongly contributed to the characters' naivety. Plus, Maddie is a nineteen-year-old who has been raised relatively sheltered...which will make her forthcoming conflicts all the more challenging, but also eye opening. 


Elaine, thanks for your thoughts.

You're right about disaster written all over Maddie and Lane and I understand your adverse feelings about their deception to their families.

I on the other hand truly understand their deceit and I think it has more to do with Maddie's education then their social and ethnic backgrounds especially the way TJ's protectiveness is since the "accident" because of a statement that Maddie made about TJ not being okay with her dating anyone.

 

We'll see where they go from here.

 


Thanks, Deb, you're right, their deceit really is understandable in many ways. And who isn't guilty of the same, at some point in their life? I guess the thing that bothered me is that it affects so many other people, and it relies on having to bring other people into their sticky web. And, of course, as a mother I know that my own kids have sometimes 'shielded' me from uncomfortable truths, so to see it played out in other people is a little uncomfy perhaps....

Elaine




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Kristina_McMorris
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Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

I just have to say...Elaine, your comment about the psychiatrist's couch made me laugh out loud! So, so true. Also, about men not "exploring their feelings" at the time. 

 

Your description about Lane's conflict, with one foot in both worlds, perfectly describes my own father, an immigrant from Kyoto, who (as I mentioned in another reply) spontaneous -- and defiantly -- married my American mother when his family had much different plans for him. <sigh> Interestingly, my father's sense of Japanese heritage has emerged more and more over time, whereas when he arrived in the U.S. at age nineteen, his only goal was to be a "real" American. 

 


elaine_hf wrote:

 

TJ, on the other hand, makes me very concerned, due to his anger issues and his overprotectiveness. That was not a time when most people, particularly men, chose to 'explore their feelings', but how he could have used some time on the psychiatrist's couch regarding his feelings about his father.

I'm not surprised by the arranged marriage, but I am surprised at how easily Lane decided to go against his parents' wishes. I read a lot of literature by and about Indian women, particularly regarding that delicate, confusing time when there is a move to the United States and they have one foot in their home village, one foot in the new country. So the division in this family regarding culture is not surprising, and I'm certain that Lane has conflicted feelings. 

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Kristina_McMorris
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎12-28-2012

Re: Week One Discussion of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Muse, perfectly stated. I'm so sorry to learn about your friend's uncle. But how nice to know about your special frienship with D.Y. Thanks for sharing! 

 


Mountain_Muse wrote:
People are afraid of what they do not understand and of people who are different and have different customs than they do.  With the start of the war this turned into manic behavior and pack mentality.