Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina Mcmorris | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

4.6 25
by Kristina Mcmorris

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In this poignant and evocative novel by acclaimed author Kristina McMorris, a country is plunged into conflict and suspicion--forcing a young woman to find her place in a volatile world.

Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo. Her


In this poignant and evocative novel by acclaimed author Kristina McMorris, a country is plunged into conflict and suspicion--forcing a young woman to find her place in a volatile world.

Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo. Her brother's best friend, Lane is the handsome, ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie was prepared for disapproval from their families, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, the full force of their decision becomes apparent. In the eyes of a fearful nation, Lane is no longer just an outsider, but an enemy.

When her husband is interned at a war relocation camp, Maddie follows, sacrificing her Juilliard ambitions. Behind barbed wire, tension simmers and the line between patriot and traitor blurs. As Maddie strives for the hard-won acceptance of her new family, Lane risks everything to prove his allegiance to America, at tremendous cost.

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.

"Impeccably researched and beautifully written." --Karen White, New York Times bestselling author

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Bridge of Scarlet Leaves 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
SarahSundin More than 1 year ago
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.
BooksnKisses More than 1 year ago
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.
anovelreview_blogspot_com More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two2dogs More than 1 year ago
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.
Nettie29 More than 1 year ago
Readable but plot predictable. Flat characters development Not my favorite but ok.
MarionMarchetto_author More than 1 year ago
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.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
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.
Bukgoddess More than 1 year ago
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?
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
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
NWIStacey More than 1 year ago
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.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
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.
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
"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!
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
kittycrochettwo More than 1 year ago
If I had to describe this book in two words it would be soul stirring. The author weaves a tale of love and loss, set during a very tumultuous time in our countries history. From the age of nine when Maddie Kern's father gave her a used violin it became her goal to enter into Juilliard. After the death of her mother, her father changed and her brother TJ started looking out for her, and thought that her dating anyone would be a distraction from her future plans. By the age of nineteen though she has fallen in love with Lane Moritomo , a handsome Japanese/American who also happens to be TJ's friend. They have kept their dating a secret though,and when Lane's parents inform him that they are arranging a marriage for him TJ and Maddie decide to elope, and then Pearl Harbor is bombed and their lives change forever! What an amazing story. It was easy to see that the author really did her research with this story, I actually felt like I was getting a history lesson while reading this remarkable story. I was often shocked and appalled at how Japanese/American's were treated, and that fact really hit home for me when the government went in and searched Lane's parents home and found his model plane diagrams, something so simple caused them to be treated as the enemy. Lane was such a wonderful character always looking out for everyone else, and the love story between him and Maddie was just amazing. This was such a thought provoking story that really captured my heart. I found myself thinking about the characters long after I finished the final page. I think this book would be a wonderful read for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, and the discussion questions makes this book perfect for a group read. I also enjoyed reading the author's notes at the end of the story. Overall "Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves"is a must read story that I highly recommend.
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
MGimels More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great piece of storytelling that accurately captures the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII: I was happy to receive an Advance Reader’s Copy of The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves because of my interest in this period. A Hapa myself, I learned about the internment from my father-in-law, who had been interned as a boy during the war, and his experiences led me and my husband to learn as much as we could about this complicated, sad episode of American history. While the Bridge of Scarlet Leaves follows the experience of a Caucasian bride of a Japanese-American man who chooses to follow her husband into the camps—a side of the story rarely told—the novel does a wonderful job capturing all sides of the story. Ms. McMorris is especially skilled at depicting the lives of Japanese-Americans at the time, from the complicated dynamics within families to faithfully showing daily life in the camps. The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is ambitious, a mix of romance, historical, family saga and even war story, but Ms. McMorris does an outstanding job balancing her many tales and even her combat scenes are well done. A good choice if you’re looking for an all-around excellent read, and an even better book club choice.
susandyer1962 More than 1 year ago
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!
beyondthemargains More than 1 year ago
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.