Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:
On Liberty’s Wings: A Post-WWII Novel
by Diane Dettmann
Publisher: Outskirts Press
The end of World War II signals a new beginning for America, but for twenty-two-year-old Yasu Nakahara and her family, harsh prejudices remain. Now married and leading a new life, Yasu faces barriers almost as unyielding as the years she and her family spent imprisoned in the Japanese internment camp in California during the war. Motivated by flashbacks of armed military guards and barbwire fences, Yasu strives to build a new life. She pours her heart and soul into her new teaching position while her husband Masato, a World War II veteran, faces his own battles of attaining an engineering degree and securing a job. On Liberty’s Wings: A Post-WWII Novel is a story of the strength of the human spirit and focuses on themes of forgiveness, choice, prejudice and change. Readers become immersed in Yasu’s evolution and her family’s recovery as they celebrate victories and grieve their losses.
* courtesy of Amazon.com
Book 3 of the Courageous Footsteps series continues the story of Yasu, who is now married and leading a new life in the aftermath of World War II, which landed her family in a Japanese internment camp and resulted in the death of her beloved brother. How does one recover to lead a new life in the aftermath of such gut-wrenching disaster? That’s one of the keys to understanding the determined, feisty Yasu’s process as she faces a vastly changed world and life, including a new teaching job and expanding opportunities, even as her husband Masato struggles to pursue a degree and faces losing his job to an experienced, returning war vet.
Readers who have followed Yasu’s evolution in previous books will especially appreciate seeing these threads of change, which force characters to consider new actions, reactions, and consequences of their behaviors even as society changes and evolves around them. While the story stands nicely alone as an individual piece, when read in the wider context of Yasu’s life, it serves as yet another jigsaw puzzle piece creating the bigger picture of the World War II experience. Especially when taken as an integral part of this blossoming series, it is recommended for mature teens to adult readers seeking far more psychological depth and social inspection than the usual focus on the Japanese experience in America during the War.
– reviewed on the Independent Publisher’s Shelf at the Midwest Book Review
Diane weaves in the intensity of racial actions and words with a story that ‘Americanizes’ a small Japanese American family just trying to make it in post-World War II America. They face the additional challenge of experiencing the advantages and disadvantages of being a minority in our society. Dettmann captures the basic goodness in human nature, showing how many treated this family as if they weren’t different while including reminders that negative racial thoughts are as much a part of human nature as that goodness. As a third generation Japanese American born and raised in the Midwest, I believe that Diane writes with an awareness of what it’s like being racially different that is quite accurate.
– Amazon reviewer John Suzukida
On Liberty’s Wings is a powerful, gripping novel that made me want to read it all the way through, in one sitting. Diane Dettman’s saga sweeps us through many experiences—love, overcoming prejudice, the desire for a new life and recovery from trauma, and the power of the individual in the midst of collective transformation. I was enthralled by Dettman’s beautiful characters and her vivid descriptions of real historic events, as well as how they impacted the lives of so many people. As a historical novel, On Liberty’s Wings offers rich and poignant insight into the often-unrecognized stories of Japanese internment camps, as well as a sense of personal proximity to the struggles of individual people. The book, although fictional, is a testament to the courage of those who have faced the odds, and the power of empathy and shared humanity in restoring hope. The book sheds light on painful experiences, but it’s truly my definition of a feel-good novel. I recommend it highly!
– Amazon reviewer Kelly McNelis