Customer Reviews for

When the Emperor Was Divine

Average Rating 3.5
( 75 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Powerful

A very troubling look at a time in our past. You will carry this around inside for a good while.

posted by gmanpma on October 25, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Easy read

This book follows the hardships forced upon Japanese Americans without excessively ridiculing or shaming. Nice read.

posted by 10077754 on January 11, 2012

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    Highly Recommended - Very interesting!

    "When the Emperor Was Divine" by Julie Otsuka is a non-fiction story about a Japenese family during WW2 whose father was taken from their California home and they were sent to an internment camp in Utah. It is a story of their struggles and everything they had to endure. A huge message through out the book is being postive and finding the good in things even when times are hard. Having and learning acceptance and tolerence toward everyone is the main theme through out this book. Although the family is stuck in an internment camp they still try to be postive and make the best of it. The only thing in the book I did not like was that the characters did not have names. I really enjoyed reading "When the Emperor Was Divine" because I learned a lot and it was extremly interesting. If you are interested in the World War 2 time period you should definetly read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Powerful

    A very troubling look at a time in our past. You will carry this around inside for a good while.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2003

    An excellent historical novel

    I borrowed this book from a co-worker who highly recommended it to me, and I was not sure if I even wanted to read it. I started it on a plane ride and could not put it down! I never learned much about these events in American history because they aren't mentioned much. This book gave such powerful insights into the emotions that were involved when these wonderful people were treated so horribly. I became so attached as I followed this family through their trials. The author does an excellent job of writing from multiple perspectives. My heart broke as I saw each member of the family slowly fall apart. This book is superbly written, and I have already told every reader I know to take time to read this novel.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Easy read

    This book follows the hardships forced upon Japanese Americans without excessively ridiculing or shaming. Nice read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2007

    one shell of a book

    I was incrediblly disappointed in this book. To me this book was a skeleton, or better yet a shell. A beautiful shell that could have been filled with so much more. I wanted the book to delve deeper into the lives of this family in the internment camps. What stories did they hear, who was the girl hanging around with and why? Stories like how she scraped her knee or what did the neighbors fight about? But the most disappointing part of this is that the author had a wonderful chance to have a second part of the book. What the father went through. But the book just ends on his confession. What a misses opportunity! It would have made for a compelling part two.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2006

    Heart breaking and intriguing

    This novel shows a great side to the Japanese internment camps during World War Two while following the story of one family. The Japanese Americans were sent to camps because of fear of spies after Pearl Harbor, The story will follow you and it certainly will stay with me. There are several unsettling moments in the book, like the scene with White Dog on page 11. The family is sent to a barracks in the Utah desert and has to suffer through their life their. This book enlightened me to a different side of the war and it¿s an eye-opening book. The only thing that surprised me was the second to last chapter which starts on page 140 where the entire tone of the book flip flops and becomes much more direct. I never really knew much about the Japanese internment camps and we didn¿t cover much of that subject in history, this book allowed me to see what actually happened to the Japanese-Americans. With the help of this book and photos we looked at in class, I found myself becoming more and more angry at how we acted so irrationally during a time of panic. A great book for anyone who would like a new insight on the internment camps.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2005

    fambulous

    how the you can feel like the mother, sister, brother, and father. the details paint a vivid picture.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2003

    Such a Powerful Book!

    This little book is one of the most powerful I have ever read. There is not an extraneous word in it. I felt like I held my breath through the first four chapters -- and when I started into the fifth, I cried through every word. I am buying this book for each of my adult children. I am not sure they were ever taught anything in school about this dreadful, shameful episode in our history. They need to know, and this book will show them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2014

    Quite possible the worst book I've ever read. This book only sel

    Quite possible the worst book I've ever read. This book only sells because English teachers love to make their students lives awful. The story has no plot whatsoever, and I don't recommend reading it at all. This book sucks. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    The book wasn't one of my faves, the cover of the book was an in

    The book wasn't one of my faves, the cover of the book was an interest, but once I read the hardships and the context of the story, it lost my interest after a few chapters. Not bad if you have to read it for a class, but otherwise, outside of the classroom it wasn't a good read. I would recommend this book to English majors if they find this sort of stuff intreguing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    Decent

    There were good and bad parts in it. I did not like the killing of the dog or those condintions. Since I am a history geek I liked all the historical aspects. If you are a history geek or a normal history lover, I recomend it. Just have your tissues ready! (not kidding either!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    Great

    Highly reccomend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Recommend

    Wonderful, quick easy read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    A new way of viewing WWII

    What evil lurks inside the heart of our nation? This book is gentle sledgehammer, a beautiful nightmare, a gift you want to give back but can't. I understand it is required reading in many 21st century schools. Boomers, catch up with the kids and read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    Good Short Story

    I wouldn't say it's a book, short story really. Interesting, no real plot to it, but it was an easy read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This Book Wasn't Divine; It was Good

    The story is told from four people's perspectives. This book opened my eyes to a part of history that I knew little about. I liked it. However, it was too short. If you don't enjoy different points of views in stories then, this isn't the book for you. Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is better than this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Powerful

    Well written. The last chapter was very powerful. Educational--ard to believe this happened in America. This period of shame should never be forgotten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2011

    A must read

    Very well written; interesting characters; moving story based on historical truth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    Learn about the Japanese experience during WWII

    I highly recommend this book. It was very informative on the Japanese experience in California during WWII. The main characters were very well developed. The book was very touching and intellectually stimulating. It is a very good book for book groups. The book lead to stimulating conversation.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    Moving short book

    The tragedy of the US government's interment policy during WWII has been a horrible stain on the nation. This book intensifies and personalizes the event so that all Americans can be familiar with the horror which was perpetrated on our shores, so we can be vigilant to prevent a re-occurence.

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