3.0 out of 5 stars
The theme of loss, Feb. 17 2000
I enjoyed reading Obasan, by Joy Kogawa. I have been very interested in Japanese Internment Camps for some time now and because of this my principal suggested that I read this book. The novel started out slowly, but after learning the characters it became very interesting. The main character in this novel is Naomi NaKane, a Japanese Canadian. Dealing with the loss of her mother who traveled to Japan and then the loss of her father because of illness, makes this young girl's life very difficult. She and her brother Stephen are taken care of by their aunt and uncle. They are evacuted from their home in Vancouver and sent to an internment camp where they lived for three or four years. Then they were then sent to Granton to work on a farm. Here they lived in a rat infested shack which had to suffice for a home. After a few years they moved to their own house in Granton. When they arrived here they had to deal with new people and a completely new life. Can you imagine being taken out of your home and then after you had just started to make friends in the camp, be placed in a new home far away from who and what you've known for your entire life. That is what Naomi has to deal with, only you see it through a five year old's eyes as she grows up. She deals with the loss of many things such as her family, her surroundings, basically her life. After reading this book I suggest that you read Itsuka, another book by Joy Kogawa that deals with Naomi's later life.