Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “The Last Year of the War” by Susan Meissner, Berkley, March 2019
WOW! WOW!WOW! Susan Meissner, Author of “The Last Year of the War” has written an amazing, unique, riveting, captivating, intense, heart-breaking, emotional and intriguing novel. Susan Meissner describes vividly the characters, events and landscape in a period in United States History that is often not openly discussed as it should be. The Genres of this Novel and Historical Fiction and Fiction. The story takes place during World War Two, mostly in the United States, but also takes place in Japan and Germany. The timeline goes to the past or future when it pertains to the characters or events in the story. The authors describe her characters as complex and complicated due to the circumstances in the story.
Elise Sontag is an American citizen of German Descent. She goes to school, and lives an American life. Elise doesn’t speak German. When the war breaks out, her German father, a legal United States resident is arrested. and regarded as a spy. He is eventually sent with the rest of the family to Crystal City Internment Camp in Texas. Elise meets a special friend Mariko Inoue, a Japanese American teen who also is in the Internment Camp. Mariko writes a story and wants Elise to help her find an ending.
I appreciate the hours of research that Susan Meissner has done to tell this story. Can you imagine two American teenagers imprisoned because of their backgrounds in the war? Although there was shopping , stores, schools and hospitals, the camp was surrounded by barbed wire.
In the last year of the war, many of the German and Japanese families that were held in the camp, were sent back to Japan and Germany. Germany was being bombed by the Allies, and Elise is at a loss, since she doesn’t speak German. Will Elise and Mariko keep their promise to be friends?
I highly recommend this novel to readers who appreciate World War Two and the unique part of history . Be warned, keep some Kleenex on hand.