Within These Lines - Stephanie Morrill

Saturday, May 25, 2019

My Rating
★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book

Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family living in San Francisco in 1941 is quiet and ordinary until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.

Degrading treatment makes life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world is treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out against injustice, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.

With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their ideals and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.

Within These Lines is a story about the gritty, exhausting side of love. The kind of love that seems to only invite heartbreak, but is tenacious and unrelenting all the same. It’s available in stores now! (From author website)

My Thoughts

Ansel Adams - WikiCommons
I have REALLY got to stop reading WWII books back-to-back...My heart can't handle it anymore lol. That is one reason why this review has had to just marinate in my heart and brain.

Evalina and Taichi's story pulled at my heartstrings so very much. Living in such a dark time in history, the perseverance, the tenacity, the strength, and the power of love, is overwhelmingly beautiful. Morrill brought the injustice and sorrow that we, as a nation, like to gloss over. I am so glad that authors are tackling this topic that has been long looked over.

Ansel Adams - WikiCommons
Morrill's descriptions were so tangible that I could hear the sounds, see the street market, and feel the wind and dust from Manzanar. I learned so much about history and culture while reading this book. Different details and conversations sparked my interest and of course, I had to go look things up. As you can see from these pictures it's easy to see why society thought that everything was cupcakes and rainbows at these camps. The media's agenda to shed the camps in a positive light was far from the truth as we now know.

But this is a review, not a history lesson lol! I do highly encourage you to read Within These Lines let your heart and eyes be opened to a new side of WWII history through this story of love, hope, and faith.
Ansel Adams - WikiCommons

Replica of a historic watch tower at the Manzanar National Historic Site, built in 2005.
Eight watchtowers, equipped with searchlights and armed with machine guns that were pointed
inward at the prisoners, were positioned around the perimeter of the 
World War II
American concentration camp

I received a complimentary copy of Within These Lines from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

Stephanie Morrill writes books about girls who are on an adventure to discover their unique place in the world. She is the author of several contemporary young adult series, as well as the 1920s mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, and the WWII era romance, Within These Lines. Since 2010, Stephanie has been encouraging the next generation of writers at her website, She lives in the Kansas City area, where she loves plotting big and small adventures to enjoy with her husband and three children.

More Books by Stephanie Morrill on Bookworm Mama

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