Customer Reviews for

Snow Falling on Cedars

Average Rating 4
( 208 )
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(100)

4 Star

(65)

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(26)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

beautifully atmospheric...

Snow Falling on Cedars is a beautifully atmospheric love story/murder mystery. It takes place on San Piedro Island off the Pacific Coast. The story alternates from the trial of a Japanese American on trial for murder in 1954 to the background stories of the relevant cha...
Snow Falling on Cedars is a beautifully atmospheric love story/murder mystery. It takes place on San Piedro Island off the Pacific Coast. The story alternates from the trial of a Japanese American on trial for murder in 1954 to the background stories of the relevant characters leading up to WWII and after. Snow Falling on Cedars brings up questions of loyalty, racism and forgiveness. The mood of the novel matches it's scenery, dark and stormy. The love stories are passionate and emotional. The writing is beautifully descriptive. David Guterson brings the island of San Piedro and it's inhabitants vividly to life in a novel I'll not soon forget.

posted by songcatchers on October 25, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Good in some parts...

I read this novel in high school and although it was more interesting than most of the novels we read, I was not pleased with all of the sexual innuendos and don't think that this is necessary in books to be read and analyzed in school.

posted by peppermintpatty320 on August 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2005

    Charged with murder

    The book is a great romantic murder mystery. It takes place just after World War II. It portrays a great love story that unfolds through out the book. The book also deals with the hardships of Japanese Americans and the problems they had during the war. I recommend this book to others if you like books on World War II. YOu will not ever want to put the book down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2005

    I loved it

    i have to agree with some of yall that say that it started out slow but it was worth it. i really enjoyed the book and the details was wonderful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2004

    Good book

    SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS is a good book. It deals with romance, murder, predujice, and war. It starts out exciting, gets you into the book. Besides being too wordy sometimes, and too lengthy on some things, the book overall is really good. You can relate to some of the characters, and they seem to appear in people you know. I would recommend this book to anyone older than a freshman in high school. It teaches you a lesson, 'but don't take my word for it...' Read the book yourself and find out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2003

    Look at WWII with a different perspective.

    I would recommend Snow Falling on Cedars to anyone studying WWII. The reason is because it gave me a greater appreciation of what the Japanese Americans had endured after WWII. After reading about where the Japanese Americans were put and how they were treated socially after WWII. I have grown to have a greater appreciation for them. I encourage someone to read this book if they enjoy learning about WWII. David Guterson gives a whole new perspective for students to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2003

    Good Book

    Snow Falling on Cedars is very easy to read. It also teaches much about U.S. History that we are not taught in school. Some reviewers have said that the courtroom portion of the story is weak, of which I have no opinion one way or the other. However, the true theme of the story is predjudice -- how the predjudice of a nation destroyed individual relationships. The courtroom drama and mystery only serve to enhance this theme of predjudice. It is a very well written first novel and worthy of the praise it has received.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2003

    Great Book

    I loved it personally. It is a good character study and really brings them to life. Although at times through some a-typical ways. I found it addicting. Although it consists of court scenes so if you dont like that it might not be as enjoyable. But i found the court scenes to be a good way to transition to the past and into characters thoughts. Fascinating book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2003

    A Story of Hate and Love

    I believe that Snow Falling on Cedars is a great literary work. David Guterson writes this book with so much detail, it¿s incredible. The trial that is carried throughout the story makes all the events flow together. This story links love and war, which makes it an enjoyable read for anyone. The details in this book are so intricate; they are things you wouldn¿t even think would matter but they do. In one part of the book the defense attorney for Kabuo Miyamoto makes a point to show the court that one of Kabuo Miyamoto¿s batteries were on Carl Heine¿s boat. This was such a small detail that I didn¿t see why it was of any relevance, until I read on another three hundred pages. I really liked the small details the made a difference in this novel. The trial makes the past and present come together with no confusion at all. As the story progresses the characters lives are told and the trial links all the characters in some way or another. I really had no problems with the trial aspect of the story; I didn¿t think it dulled the story at all. In fact, I think the trail made the story more of a mystery and I had the urge to read on. Some of the characters that didn¿t seem to have any connection to Carl Heine were always linked through other characters and then connected to the trial somehow. Carl Heine, Ishmael Chambers and Kabuo Miyamoto had all fought in World War II and this made them all seem more admirable though they were just ordinary men. I wasn¿t really that interested when Ishmael Chambers described his war experiences and how he lost his arm but I am sure that is appealing to others. I was more intrigued by the historical angle of the story. The descriptions of the Japanese-American internment camps were very accurate and I got the feel for what those people must have gone through during that bleak time in American history. The love story between Hatsue Imada and Ishmael Chambers was the most fascinating part of the book to me. At times I would almost be yelling at the characters in the book because of the decisions they made; but the characters were authentic and true to life. The one thing that I disliked about the book was the unnecessary sexual content. Overall the book was a very good read and I utterly enjoyed it. The history, the trial and the love story that were all intertwined in the novel made it more appealing. I may have not found the war aspect or the sexual content in the novel intriguing but I am sure that others would. I would highly recommend Snow Falling on Cedars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2003

    A Slow Ride

    If the reader can get past the incredible "slowless" of the story, he or she will enjoy a realistic world involving an array of human emotions, racism, love, hate, and tough decisions made in the mist of those emotions. The story really rates an outstanding, but the author (Guterson) goes too much into the lives of the characters--I don't need to know about the characters' great great grandparents--which slowed the story down like stop and go traffic! The flashback scenes did a great job in allowing the reader to grasp this gem of a story, but Guterson goes too far with having flashbacks within flashbacks. A slow read...but hang on and enjoy the ride. My visit to San Piedro Island was long but enjoyable. I plan to rent the movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2003

    This was a fun book to read

    I had to read this book for my english class my Junior year, and it was actually very interesting. I had to do an in depth reading so it was not as much fun, where if I was just reading it for fun I would have enjoyed it much more. Still this was definitely worth it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2002

    A Great Debut Novel

    It is not often that you find a book that touches your soul. Many of the reviews I have read on this novel cast it as a book about racism and romance. While I cannot deny that both are integral elements of the story, I think the real theme of the novel revolves around one man's struggle to overcome his own bitterness, thus enabling him to do the right thing and make something of his life. The novel's imagery is stunning. I have never visited the San Juan Islands, but I now feel like I have been there. I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2001

    A novel fulfilling for people with a variety of interests

    A love story surrounded by a murder trail and World War II, broken apart by the prejudice souls hovering over San Pidro Island gives a perfect description of the uniquely written novel, 'Snow Falling on Cedars.' A story line jumping back and forth between the past and the present allows the reader to sink into each and every characters life, while the suspense keeps you hooked at the turn of every page. The young love between Ishmael, an American man, and Hatuse, a Japanese-American woman, provides the interest for those who enjoy romanticism. While the court and war scenes provide a part for those who enjoy action, suspense, and problem solving. The world in this book becomes torn apart by the prejudice World War II has dropped on the entire country. Now, because of a trial where a Japanese man stands accused of murder, the people are forced to unite and judge completely on the evidence presented. I recommend this novel to people with a variety of interests. This book opens your mind, while crushing your heart trying to imagine what the innocent people of San Piedro went through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2001

    A Great Read

    The overlooked tention between Americans and Japenese was the hidden meaning of the book Snow Falling on Cedar by David Guterson. This book had many stories intertwined but the main story focus on the murder trial of Carl Heine and the man accused of crime-Kabuo Miyamoto. The book consisded of many flash backs which were confusing at times but gave great insights to the characters thoughts, feeling, and personalities. At the end of the book you know them inside and out. The anticipiation of whether Kabuo is guilty or not keeps you reading until the end. And the forbidden teenage love between Hatsue-Kabuo's wife-and a white islander boy provides the perfect bit of romance to spice this book up. This book is a great read for a rainy afternoon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2001

    Read This Book!

    This book first interested me because it took place in the Pacific NorthWest, so I could relate. I thought, however, that I might not like it; but after reading it I really enjoyed it! This book is extremely good, and after reading it I dont want to see the movie because I want to keep the vivid pictures I was able to draw in my mind simply from reading it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2001

    A Captivating Story!

    This beautifully written novel captures the essence of the power of a long lost love and the healing that can come after a community is torn by a war of prejudice and pride. With an interracial love affair, family rivalry with cherished land, and a mysterious murder mystery, it is suspenseful, engaging and will tough the heart of all who read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2000

    Excellent Account of History, Mystery, and Romance all at the same time

    This book was actually a Christmas present to me back in December, and I'm greatful for getting it. Snow Falling on Cedars was a terrific mystery/romance that looked back on the prejudice against Japanese-Americans during World War 2. It was both sad and happy to the reader, and the book never ceased to be interesting. I have yet to see the movie, but if it's anything like the book, then I can't wait.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2000

    Intense

    This book is highly captivsting. From the moment I picked it up and started to read it I did not want to put it down. I was very impressed because as a reader I do not find many books that I don't want to put down. The detail is unreal, it takes you there and you feel like you know the people, place and reactions of those around you. The conflict between the characters only adds to the suspence. The author does a supurb job of moving from the present to the past. You get an indepth look at the characters and their lives drawing you only deeper into the book. I was very impressed and would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery, love, and hate bound together in one book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2000

    Awakening, touching and even educational

    This novel made me feel the snow on my eyelashes, smell the cedar and taste the strawberries. It was a story of love, life and lessons valuable to all. Not only was it enjoyable and interesting, but educational as well. I learned much about the way life was in the years of recent post-war, and obtained a first hand view on our country's insecurities with difference. I was a bit disappointed in Hatsue's character and her denial of her true feelings, but learned to accept her decisions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2000

    I LOVE IT!

    Snow Falling on Cedars is a hearfelt and passionate book based on war,forbidden love and law.Hatsue,a young Japanese girl fell in love with a non-Japanese boy as a young girl which was forbidden to do.She ended up marrying Kabuo,a Japanese man.He ended up going to trial for a murder he didn't commit.Ishmael,Hatsue's x-boyfriend ended up cracking the case.He loved Hatsue so much,he gave her, her husband's freedom.I liked that part the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2000

    One of the Best Books of the 20th century

    This book, written at the end of the 20th Century, will live on far into the 21st Century, because it is an example of conditions which existed in the mid-20th century, and the fact that it is a well-written novel will undoubtedly make many stop and think about issues which can mold a society. David Guterson's novel is taught in the colleges, as an example of good writing, and a social statement of the times in which it was written. The novel is marvelously descriptive of the setting, and it stirs the emotions of the reader, leaving a fine impression after one has finished it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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