Genre: Historical fiction
Published: 2007, 320 pgs.
Source: Personal library
Book club selection
Review: 4/5 stars
Ellis is a small fictional town in Colorado that has some big changes coming to it as Sandra Dallas begins her novel Tallgrass. It's 1942 and after the devastation at Pearl Harbor the United States government is rounding up all Japanese Americans living on the west coast and relocating them to internment camps situated more inland. It's a dark time in American history and we see the darkness in some of the characters of this novel as well as the goodness and enlightenment of others. The story is told in the voice of 13-year-old Rennie and she describes how she is affected by the Tallgrass internment camp that is built near her family's farm on the outskirts of Ellis.
We read this book for book club last month and everyone really liked it. The characters are wonderful; you feel like you know them and one book club member said that she missed them when the book was over. That is high praise indeed.
If you're looking for a book to learn more about conditions in the internment camps then this isn't the book you'd want. The camp is definitely a major part of the story but it's more about how it affects the people on the outside rather than the inside.
Rating: 2.2.2 Tallgrass includes some mature themes but I didn't find anything offensive. There is some violence and a little barnyard language (if I remember right). Sex is an issue but is not described.