Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents

My eighth Evergreen read was Mark Sakamoto’s Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents. This book tells the story of Mitsue Sakamoto, a Canadian of Japanese descent who was ordered out of her home sent to a work farm during the War. This book is also about Ralph MacLean, a Canadian who spent most of the War in a Japanese POW camp. Decades later their children met and married.

It was a good book but I had trouble getting into it. I picked it up and put it down, only reading a few paragraphs here and there, for more than three weeks. I finally had to force myself to just sit down and finish the thing. I don’t know why I had such trouble with it, perhaps because some parts felt like they just don’t go deep enough. For instance, when Mitsue and Ralph (I should mention that they’re Mark Sakamoto’s grandparents, although you probably figured that out by now) meet for the first time there could have been the potential for a lot of tension and inner turmoil, but Sakamoto just spends a few lines on it.

I did feel like it was important for me to read about the ways that WWII affected my own country. And books like this always make me extra grateful to be living when and where I do. It’s amazing how things change in just a few decades.



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