Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Review: Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars is a 1994 novel by David Guterson that has been gathering dust on my shelf for who knows how many years. Ironically it's another one of many books I have read recently that takes place in the Pacific Northwest; this time on the fictional San Piedro Island which is apparently somewhere in the San Juans.

Set in 1954, the plot revolves around a murder case in which Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese America, is accused of killing Carl Heine, a respected fisherman in the close-knit community. In the course of the ensuing trial the reader is taken back in time to memories of a love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife. San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, and an interesting story of land desired, paid for, and lost during this period is introduced as a potential motive in the murder.

I thought this book was a fascinating who-done-it, and as each past experience or memory was revealed I found myself once again changing my opinion regarding Kabuo's guilt or innocence. It literally wasn't until the last few pages when everything came together. I loved the suspense and the way the past and present were woven together throughout the book.

Honestly I had kind of been avoiding reading this book because I thought it might be boring or hard to get through, but it's actually quite a page turner and I'd definitely recommend it highly. I also just added the movie to my queue which stars Ethan Hawke (one of my faves). I just hope it's as good as the book...


  1. haven't read it either or watched the movie, i will prob read it now though once i'm done w/ my current book! :)

  2. You know, I think I had this sitting on my shelf for a quite a while when I lived at home too! I don't think I ever got around to reading it, but now I feel like I should've!


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