A slim book that packs a big punch. It tells the collective story of a group of Japanese 'picture brides' starting with their arduous journey by boat to America, through their lives full of back breaking farming or other labor, to the beginning of WW2 and their departure for the internment camps where their whole families eventually ended up. With the use of the collective 'we' Otsuka has managed to give a voice to all these women who bravely tried to escape the fate of being almost nobody in Japan but sadly became completely nobody setting foot on American soil. The repetitive structure reminiscent of an incantation makes the prose extra memorable and strangely haunting.
All in all, a quick but powerful and fiercely poetic read that leaves a lingering impression.

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