Review: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
By: Kristina McMorris
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Published: Feb. 28, 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction

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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 Julliard 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.



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 Harbor 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 Maddie’s 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 your emotions get tied up in the words easily.
Maybe because I am a military wife but my favorite part has to do with T.J and Jo (Maddie’s best friend).
Right as T.J is about to board the train to ship out to war, Jo shows up all dressed up and the spitting image of what you envision when you think of the women who sent their husbands off to war. All the guys on the train get riled up over the site of Jo and start yelling for him to kiss her. He slides with a kiss on the cheek but Jo sneaks in a kiss and soon everything else is forgotten but Jo. That is until his train starts taking off without him. With a quick kiss he takes off after the train and jumps on, looking back at the girl he is leaving behind.


2 Thoughts on “Review: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris

  1. Wow! What an awesome review! This sounds like SUCH a (bitter)sweet and promising read! I really want to read it now!!

    I’m a new follower! 🙂
    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

  2. Kristin, I don’t know what to say! I am so, so flattered by your heartfelt review. Thanks so much for helping spread word! (Btw, that train scene is one of my favorites too.) 🙂

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