Snow Falling on Cedars

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1994 - Fiction - 345 pages
93 Reviews
On San Piedro, an island of rugged, spectacular beauty in Puget Sound, home to salmon fishermen and strawberry farmers, a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial, charged with coldblooded murder. The year is 1954, and the shadow of World War II, with its brutality abroad and internment of Japanese Americans at home, hangs over the courtroom. Ishmael Chambers, who lost an arm in the Pacific war and now runs the island newspaper inherited from his father, is among the journalists covering the trial - a trial that brings him close, once again, to Hatsue Miyomoto, the wife of the accused man and Ishmael's never-forgotten boyhood love. Hatsue and Ishmael, in the years before the war came between them, had dug clams together, picked strawberries in San Piedro's verdant fields, and passed long hours in the secrecy of a giant hollow cedar tree. Now, as a heavy snowfall surrounds and impedes the progress of Kabuo Miyomoto's trial, they and the other participants must come to a reckoning with the past, with culture, nature, and love, and with the possibilities of the human will. Both suspenseful and beautifully crafted, Snow Falling on Cedars portrays the psychology of a community, the ambiguities of justice, the racism that persists even between neighbors, and the necessity of individual moral action despite the indifference of nature and circumstance.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
26
4 stars
43
3 stars
12
2 stars
8
1 star
4

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pennsylady - LibraryThing

It was a pleasant surprise to find this book as compelling as it was. I found the transitions seamless (courtroom drama, love story, war drama). The psychological development of the characters, the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

A masterful mystery that unfolds in such an understatedly grand way. Read this book not so much for the mystery as the characters and the landscape that is found in the Pacific Northwest. This is a poignant foray into the roots of oppression. Read full review

All 6 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
6
Section 3
35
Section 4
46
Section 5
71
Section 6
85
Section 7
101
Section 8
114
Section 16
204
Section 17
216
Section 18
227
Section 19
233
Section 20
247
Section 21
255
Section 22
269
Section 23
278

Section 9
128
Section 10
133
Section 11
145
Section 12
162
Section 13
175
Section 14
189
Section 15
195
Section 24
291
Section 25
305
Section 26
311
Section 27
318
Section 28
327
Section 29
334
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1994)

David Guterson was born in Seattle and later graduated from the University of Washington. Before becoming a full-time writer, Guterson was a high school English teacher and a contributing editor for Harper's Magazine. Guterson has published The Country Ahead of Us, The Country Behind, a collection of short stories, and Family Matters: Why Home Schooling Makes Sense, a nonfiction book. Snow Falling on Cedars is Guterson's most famous work; it has won the Pen/Faulkner Award and was an American Booksellers Book of the Year Nominee.

Bibliographic information