Blog Post #20: Forgiveness Review

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a great day. This week’s post is on Forgiveness, by Canadian lawyer, Mark Sakamoto. It brought me to tears and I couldn’t think of a better book to write about for my next blog entry.

The novel elaborates on the incredible narratives of Sakamoto’s grandparents during WWII. From Ralph, his maternal grandfather, enduring a difficult childhood and miraculously surviving horrific treatment (which is an understatement) as a P.O.W, to Mitsue, his maternal grandmother, and her family being forced out of their home solely because they were Japanese and leaving a life they’ve always known, only to take up back-breaking labour whilst bearing extremely harsh weather conditions in exchange for miniscule pay, it provides readers with a vivid snapshot of the hardships this generation overcame so they could, at some points, simply stay alive, but also create a better life for themselves and their future children.

The latter sections of the book, however, detail what Sakamoto’s own life was like being a young boy of half-Scottish and half-Japanese descent growing up in Medicine Hat, Alberta. He recalls the joyful moments, including he, his younger brother, and father riding in a 1974 beige Chevy truck and watching Mr. Rogers. He also emphasized the intense love he felt from his mother every single day as well as his father’s perpetually happy, calm presence, despite working long hours.

However, Sakamoto further discusses particularly challenging times when these things came to an end after his parents decided to get a divorce. His mother hit a very low point in her life and the events that followed are beyond heartbreaking.

I was speechless after finishing Forgiveness. The prose is absolutely stunning. I’m truly inspired by Mark Sakamoto and words can’t express how much I appreciate his relatives for their willingness to share their stories. I felt so many different emotions and loved it.  All I can say now is: “READ THIS BOOK!”

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