Customer Reviews for

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted February 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing!

    After suffering the loss of her mother, Maddie Kern is about to audition for Julliard. Her future is full of music and promise. She lives in California with her older and very protective brother TJ who is now watching over her, while their dad is unable to face the reality of his wife's death. Maddie is secretly in love with Lane Moritomo, TJ’s best friend and is planning on keeping it all hush hush until the right time.

    What could be wrong with that? They are young, in love and have their whole lives ahead of them. When Lane’s parents unexpectedly tell him a Japanese matchmaker has found him a match and he will marry in the next few months. With news of an impending marriage the couple runs off and elope. When they wake up the next morning, not only has their world chanced but the world around them has changed with the news Perl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. Lane, his family and other Japanese immigrants all over the country are suddenly looked at as the enemy.

    TJ angry at his best friend and mad at his sister joins the war effort and enlists. Lane’s family loses everything and heads off to a relocation camp, after realizing they can't survive. Lane determined to do right by Maddie leaves her behind. But now Maddie is viewed as a traitor by those around her and she no longer seems to fit anywhere.

    Bridge of Scarlet Leaves follows Maddie, TJ and Lane through WWII. Maddie goes off with Lane’s family where his mother is less than enthusiastic to have her around. TJ and Lane both become soldiers. I would say this is the most moving novel I have ever had the pleasure to read. I immediately loved Lane, he was so sweet and thoughtful. The whole world was placed on his shoulders. He went through the entire novel always with purpose and thoughtfulness of those around him, a true hero. Maddie and the rest of the characters grew with each passing page, until I loved each and every one of them and their stories. Bridges of Scarlet Leaves had me reaching for my box of Kleenex more than once. A war/love story like none I’ve read before. It’s filled with tradition, honor, triumph and tragedies. I strongly strongly recommend Bridges of Scarlet Leaves.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The story takes you from Los Angeles, to the dust of Manzanar, t

    The story takes you from Los Angeles, to the dust of Manzanar, to a B-17 bomber over Hawaii, to a banzai charge in the Aleutians, to a critical moment in the Philippines. The research is impeccable, the characters are realistically drawn and thoroughly relatable, and the story is gripping. I highly recommend this novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    WOW!!!! This was a GREAT book. First I have to say to Kristina

    WOW!!!! This was a GREAT book.
    First I have to say to Kristina “I forgive you” Okay back to the review.
    Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is such an emotional book. When you think it can’t get any worst it does. Kristina does a wonderful of sucking us into the world that she has created. A world that revolves around a set of kids and one horrible event. Pearl Harbor. It is truly amazing how people were treated back then. The struggle that these kids have to go through on a daily basis makes me realize that we should all be thankful for the things we have in our life.
    I loved every page of this book. Yes, Kristina every page!!!
    Kristina thank you so very much for allowing me to read and review your book for you. I look forward to see what you come up with next.
    If you love historical I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this book!!! Oh and please have some tissues.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    Meet siblings Maddie and TJ Kern – two teenagers strugglin

    Meet siblings Maddie and TJ Kern – two teenagers struggling to survive since their mother’s passing and their father had a psychotic break. TJ is playing baseball in college and Maddie helps at the alternations shop the family owns, while practicing the violin to get into Julliard. TJ’s best friend, Japanese-American Lane, is away at college. Maddie and Lane have fallen in love, but have kept it a secret from big brother TJ. Lastly, there is Jo, Maddie’s best friend, the keeper of the hardware store, harboring a crush on TJ. . .

    It’s November, 1941. . . just a month before the four characters lives are changed forever. McMorris sets up the beginning of the novel nicely, showing the flame that is glowing between Maddie and Lane and the anger TJ faces daily due to the loss of their mother. The reader is shown the best friend relationship between TJ and Lane, never taking into consideration that Lane is a Japanese-American, but just his best pal. They are happy young adults, ready to start their lives in the world. . .

    Maddie and Lane secretly marry. Their first night together was heaven; however, that shatters the next day with the bombing of Pearl Habor. . . and everything changes.

    Lane’s family leaves, in hopes of avoiding the Japanese Internment Camps in Manzanar, CA. However, during this difficult war time, that doesn’t last long. TJ enlists. Maddie is left at home, still practicing to get into Julliard, spending her time with Jo, hoping to hear from Lane and praying daily for TJ’s safe return.

    This story is a story of love, heartbreak, loss forgiving and learning to live again. McMorris has done an excellent job researching the history of Pearl Harbor, WWII and all that history that went along with it! She has written a story that made me laugh along with the characters, yet I also cried for them as well.

    Sit back and enjoy your lesson in history while you watch this story unfold.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES by Kristina McMorris Really enjoyed all

    BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES by Kristina McMorris
    Really enjoyed all the learning in this book. Starts out with a brother and sister(TJ and Maddie) who each have a friend (jo and Lane). The male friend (Lane) is Japanese and he has fallen in love with Maddie.
    Back in the 1940's marriage between two different racial groups was taboo, but they went and got married anyways hiding it for a while from others. The day they returned to their home town from their honeymoon
    was the day that Japan bombarded Hawaii at Pearl Harbor. From there the book follows each of the four as they struggle to get through the hard times of their lives and how they strive to get it all back together
    once. This book takes you all over the world and I really liked how you could feel you were there with the descriptions of the surroundings and what was going through each of their minds.
    TJ is the baseball pitcher and his best friend is Lane til TJ finds out Lanes's married his sister.
    Maddie is a violist and has scholarships to pay her way at the Juilliard School of Music in NY but plans change.
    Her best friend Jo sticks by her in good and hard times and plays for the womans baseball league during the war.
    Lane is torn between camps, the war, his Japanese heritage and loving his American wife.
    War, food rations, birth, death, POW and farming bring this book together ending with an explanation of the stars in the sky that two are looking at from different places in the world.
    Love the Japan inspired recipes at the end also. Found myself wanting this book to continue on as I didn't want it to end.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Fans of Kristina McMorris' debut, Letters From Home, will not be

    Fans of Kristina McMorris' debut, Letters From Home, will not be disappointed with her new novel. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves casts that same vintage spell, whirling you back to a moment in history so full and vivid it is hard to believe it was over a lifetime ago. The infusion of Japanese heritage only adds to the authenticity of the story. Hard to put down and easy to pick up again, this novel is one to remember.

    More than chronicling three small-town lives, that of Maddie Kern, her brother, TJ, and her boyfriend of Japanese heritage, Lane Moritomo, through the WWII years, Bridge is a story of tradition, honor, and devotion; cultivating and holding on to family; the search for one’s identity, both within the world and within one’s self; forgiving who and what cannot be changed, including one’s own past; and loving without regret.

    War has a way of sliding everything into perspective, and each character achieves emotional growth that is both realistic and satisfying over the course of this epic novel. With her two books, McMorris has proven that she doesn’t shy away from sorrow and loss and sacrifice at the hands of warfare or the human heart, and neither does she overwhelm her characters or readers. Even out of darkness, there is hope, a bridge to a life altered but not unoccupied by dreams and love and a future.

    At times riveting and breathless, at others tender and moving, and consistently written with superb attention to historical detail, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves reads as a love letter to the men, women, and children wrongfully incarcerated in Japanese-American relocation and internment camps during WWII—and the faithful spouses who followed them.

    A novel for historical fiction buffs, romance readers, and anyone who enjoys learning about a little-known piece of our past, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves will transport and deliver beyond all expectations. Another truly fine piece of storytelling from McMorris that is not to be missed.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    Excellent!

    I have just finished Bridge of Scarlet Leaves and loved it. This was such a moving story. I loved all of the characters and especially admired the strength of Maddie and her evolving relationship with Lane's mother. I highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy stories about family dynamics, love stories and stories set during WW II. Have tissues handy when you read this novel.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One word: Mesmerizing! There are good books, great books and th

    One word: Mesmerizing!

    There are good books, great books and then there are books that move you to no end. I was spellbound from the first page and Kristina McMorris continued to weave her spell hypnotizing me until the very last word.

    Maddie is a Caucasian girl who falls in love with her brother's best friend Lane, who is a Japanese American. They keep their relationship a secret from everyone since interracial relations are not accepted. However, when Lane's parents set up an arranged marriage for him, he asks Maddie to marry him and they travel to WA where they can legally be wed and elope. Life couldn't get any better, that is until they wake up the next morning and realize that their lives will never be the same. The bombing of Pearl Harber by the Japanese has sent everyone into a chaotic mess. All Japanese are shunned and soon are driven from their homes into relocation camps where they "volunteer" their time for scraps of money to live off of. The story that proceeds is one of love, loss, sacrifice and dedication.

    The story follows Maddie Moritomo (Kern), Lane Moritomo and Maddies brother T.J. through all of the trials and tribulations they face. Maddie and Lane must overcome the hatred that the Americans now have for any and all Japanese while T.J ships out to face the war head on. In the 400 pages of the book you watch these characters go from kids who have all these dreams of their future to adults who have seen such devastation and despair but have still managed to rise above it.

    This book had me glued to the pages. McMorris wrote so beautifully that I felt like I was there. I balled my eyes out in places and silently cheered when things started looking up. I was so involved in these characters lives that my emotions got tied up in the words easily.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    Beautifully written story.

    I won a pre-release copy of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris through the GoodReads First Reads program. This was my introduction to the writing style of Kristina McMorris and from the first page I was impressed. Her characters were well written and the story was very easy to become a part of.

    In Bridge of Scarlet Leaves we are introduced to three key players: Maddie Kern, TJ Kern, and Lane Moritomo. The characters’ stories unfold in Los Angeles, CA right before Pearl Harbor is bombed in 1941. Maddie Kern is a young violinist whose dream is to attend Julliard. She lives with her strict brother TJ after a car accident takes the life of their mother and leaves their father in a nursing home consumed by depression. TJ is a young baseball pitcher whose dream is to play for the New York Yankees but find himself struggling to find his way. His best friend, Lane Morimoto is the very ambitious son of two very traditional Japanese parents whose dream is to work in politics and help make the United States a more understanding place.

    We are quickly told that Lane and Maddie have been dating for awhile and are very serious. On the day that they elope, Pearl Harbor is bombed causing their life together and the world to shatter. Throughout the book we are shown how these three characters learn to makes sense of the world as it has become, to love, to forgive and to fight for their dreams.

    Kristina McMorris writes these characters beautifully. You can’t help but feel for each of them and what they are going through. The support characters are well written and add to the individual stories. You can tell that she has done a thorough job researching the time period and what life was like during this time in history. I am excited to read other works by Kristina McMorris and see what else this young author has in store for us readers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2011

    Everyone should read this book!

    Wow, where do I start? This book was wonderful! It tells a tale of two people who come from different races and fall in love. After they elope, something horrible happens. The bombing of Pearl Harbor and both of their lives are never the same. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves hooked me from page one and never let me go! This book made me laugh, giggle and cry. I loved Kristina's first book, Letters From Home, but, dare I say, I LOVED this one more. It tugs at your heart strings and never lets go. I think everyone should read this book! It is THAT good! Well done Kristina. Once again you have made me fall in love with the characters. This is part of American History that I want to learn more about. As an added bonus Kristina even includes Asian-Fusion Recipes in the back of the book! A five star read for me all the way!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

     

     

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Loved it!

    I loved this book more than I thought I would. It was romantic and inspirational and I learned some things about the Japanese internment, as sad as it was, that I did not know. I would recommend it to high school kids as a history lesson. Yes, I would definately read more of Kristina McMorris's books.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    STRONGLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK

    This story kept me interested from beginning to end! I grew up in Southern California so knew some of the history of how the Japanese Americans were treated during the war. I loved the main character Mattie, she had so much on her plate yet managed it all, admirable woman! Good story.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Predictable

    Readable but plot predictable. Flat characters development Not my favorite but ok.

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  • Posted August 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Bridge of Scarlet Leaves tells the story of two families, the Ke

    Bridge of Scarlet Leaves tells the story of two families, the Kerns and
    the Moritomos. Maddie and her brother TJ live in the family house (their
    mother is dead and their father is in a nursing home). TJ aspires to be
    a pro-league baseball player after college while Maddie has her heart
    set on studying at the Julliard School of Music as a violinist. TJ's
    best friend is Lane Moritomo. We meet the three in Los Angeles in 1941.
    Maddie has been dating Lane in secret because he is first generation
    Japanese American. While society at that time accepts interracial
    friendships it generally frowns on those same friends entering into a
    romantic relationship. The truth of their hidden romance is brought to
    light when the three, accompanied by Maddie's friend Jo, attend a local
    club. There a drunken acquaintance accuses Maddie of crossing the line
    with Lane. Of course both Lane and TJ fight for Maddie's honor, her
    brother thinking the drunk was way off base. The next day, when Lane
    learns from his parents that a Japanese matchmaker is sending over a
    bride for him, he convinces Maddie that they should elope the following
    weekend. So with suitcase in hand, Maddie lies to her brother about her
    destination and gets on a train that brings her to Lane and a civil
    ceremony that unites them as husband and wife. Later, on their way home
    to Los Angeles they learn that the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and
    that the country is at war. During the trip they begin to experience
    first hand the fear that grips the country when they are told to leave a
    restaurant simply because of Lane's distinguishing Asian features. Upon
    returning to Los Angeles, Lane goes to his family's home only to find
    that his father, a respected banker, is being arrested and his mother
    and little sister are being harassed. Maddie too returns home to face
    the wrath of her brother. They live separated for a while as they try to
    figure things out. Lane and his family are rounded up with other
    Japanese Americans and bussed out to the desserts of New Mexico and
    Arizona where they are taken to an internment camp. Under the ever
    watchful eyes of U.S. Army guards they are given barrack housing and put
    to work. A school is available for the children. But conditions are less
    than humane. Lane is now the head of his family and must watch over
    them. That is when Maddie, who convinces the powers that be that she is
    pregnant with a Japanese child, willingly enters the camp to live with
    Lane's family. Thankfully her brother TJ has joined the Air Force and is
    not there to stop her. What happens over the course of the war is a
    black spot on the history of our country. The conditions of the camp,
    while better than those for prisoners of war, prove a hardship for these
    proud people. Gangs begin to run freely and threaten the more peaceful
    families. When Lane, in an effort to prove himself and his family as
    loyal Americans, joins the Army as a special translator these gangs
    terrorize the families of those men who have enlisted. In the end these
    families, Maddie and Lane's mother and sister among them, are
    transferred to another state where they stay until the war is over. TJ
    is taken prisoner in the Pacific Theater of War while Lane, thinking
    only of Maddie and the daughter she had borne, makes the ultimate
    sacrifice. This is a romance that transcends the lines of heritage and
    race. I truly enjoyed the story and felt personal connections with these
    characters. The characters themselves are well rounded and we see them
    each grow in different ways. A truly satisfying story, it provided for
    me knowledge about a period of time that is rarely heard of - the
    Japanese being rounded up like criminals simply because of who they
    were. I will say that I like Letters From Home (Ms. McMorris's first
    book) a little bit better than this one. That said, I can't give you a
    definite reason why although I've tried to think of one. For readers who
    enjoy the drama and intrigue of World War II with a bit of romance on
    the side, this book is a definite read. The soldier who returns home to
    claim his bride is there alongside the now-single parent of an
    interracial child. There are moments of lightness as well as scenes
    that will have you biting your nails. A solid story that you will
    certainly enjoy.

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Another histori

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    Another historical fiction that took me completely by surprise! Set in a time that I feel doesn't get too much press - the time after the attack on Pearl Harbor and about a group of people that felt discrimination but it isn't always publicized - the Japanese community. I was familiar with the the attack itself and what became after it, but only in a general history sense, definitely not the detail that is told through this interracial couple who defeat the odds.

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  • Posted June 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    In a heart wrenching and emotionally charged story, Kristin McMo

    In a heart wrenching and emotionally charged story, Kristin McMorris brings us a full circle glimpse at the intertwined lives of two families, one Caucasian and the other affluent Japanese American living in Los Angeles who find themselves torn by the events of internment during the tragedy of World War II. If this story does not find you brought to tears I do not know what will. During simpler times, Los Angeles in the fall of 1941 where neighbors all know each other and children of all ethnicities played together, the bond of friendship that started in childhood between TJ Kern and Lane Moritomo was not an alliance that would raise suspicion. Now, both young men head for the success in life promised by the hard work their studies in college would bring them. TJ as a pro baseball player, who currently pitcher on the varsity team at USC and Lane Moritomo his best friend, enrolled in college at Stanford; where Lane’s political aspirations hold promise he will be rewarded with an internship with a California Congressman who values his forward thinking ideas. However, the unforeseen factor in TJ’s life as unspoken head of the household (through makings not under his control), is his younger sister Maddie. Maddie, who at nineteen, gifted with the talent that holds promise of becoming a concert violinist in the symphony (if only she can obtain a scholarship to Julliard), centers TJ’s focus to ensure nothing will distract her from achieving this lofty goal. Nevertheless, fate has a way of interceding in all plans as Maddie and Lane have fallen in love and finds them hard pressed to keep their secret from everyone, including TJ. A spontaneous act of defiance against tradition turns into a pivotal life-altering event as the word spreads of the recent attack on Pearl Harbor. The answering actions befalling the country result in the rendering of the hard forged friendship between the two friends who once thought each other as brothers, thrusting Maddie into the position of having to chose between the two men that matter most to her. Will it ever be possible to mend the rift that now looms over them all, and if so at what cost?

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  • Posted May 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES is a finely crafted saga about families

    BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES is a finely crafted saga about families affected by World War II and the internment of Americans of Japanese descent. McMorris takes important historical facts and weaves them into a fascinating story covering many facets of the lives of Japanese-Americans during this period. They must come to terms with a war against their homeland and their treatment as American citizens by their own government. Their neighbors must suddenly reevaluate their lifelong friendships. Is that family next door now the enemy? Before Maddie and Lane can settle into their new married life, Pearl Harbor is bombed. Maddie finds herself stuck between the two cultures. She is despised by many of her own people but not easily accepted by the Japanese, including her mother-in-law. Maddie’s brother, TJ has been as close as a brother to her new husband, Lane, their entire lives. TJ is conflicted about their mixed race marriage and the bombing of Pearl Harbor only deepens his concerns causing a falling-out between the two. Lane has always considered himself strictly American and must come to terms with his Japanese heritage, first in the internment camp and later in the US Army.

    McMorris does a great job portraying the war scenes as well as the interpersonal relationships. Her characters are well developed and intriguing. The use of 1940’s slang is a great addition to the dialog. The story is filled with love, hope and devastation. I highly recommend this book for everyone.

    Rating: 4.5

    Heat Rating: Mild: Mild detailed scenes of intimacy, mild violence or profanity.

    Reviewed By: Jeanne Stone-Hunter for My Book Addiction and More

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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Maddie falls in love with Lane, her brother's best friend and a

    Maddie falls in love with Lane, her brother's best friend and a Japanese American. But her timing couldn't be worse. American is at war and all Japanese Americans are being sent to the relocation camps.
    It's a bitter sweet story of life, love and death.

    Most war stories don't end without someone dying. It's just part of the story. So I had a hard time getting started with this book. It was very well written, but I could sense some tough parts coming and I think I was dreading it a bit. The book is over 400 pages and if it's a depressing book it could have seemed never-ending. But the author had such a beautiful way of writing that I soon became immersed in the story and forgot my dread.
    People do die. It is a story about war after all. But it ends so beautifully that it doesn't leave you with a sense of sadness. This would make an excellent book club book.

    I received this book free of charge from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted April 20, 2012

    "WOW - All I can say is WOW! Bridge of Scarlet Leaves Krist

    "WOW - All I can say is WOW!
    Bridge of Scarlet Leaves Kristina McMorris is such an amazing book. I loved every page of this book and felt such a strong emotional connection to the characters. My heart truly hurt for them and the events that shaped their lives. This is an amazing historical read and would make for a phenomenal book club discussion.

    The synopsis says it best: "Skillfully capturing one of the most controversial episodes in recent American history, Kristina McMorris draws readers into a novel filled with triumphs and heartbreaking loss—an authentic, moving testament to love, forgiveness, and the enduring music of the human spirit."

    "WOW - All I can say is WOW!

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