Read Sophie and the Rising Sun by Augusta Trobaugh Online


A radiant novel that gets the rhythms and cadences of small-town life exactly right. An unforgettable story of a time when the world lost its innocence--and of a town that finds its redemption in an extraordinary love.Salty Creek is a sleepy Georgia town where everyone knows everyone else's business, along with their place in the hierarchy of color, class, and family histoA radiant novel that gets the rhythms and cadences of small-town life exactly right. An unforgettable story of a time when the world lost its innocence--and of a town that finds its redemption in an extraordinary love.Salty Creek is a sleepy Georgia town where everyone knows everyone else's business, along with their place in the hierarchy of color, class, and family history. Strangers rarely enter their midst, and a mysterious arrival in the spring of 1939 soon sets tongues wagging.A quiet, unassuming man with a secret history of his own, Mr. Oto is taken in as a gardener by Miss Anne, the town's conscience-and its heart with no illusions about Salty Creek, or its inhabitants. One of these is Sophie, who lost her love during World War I and has resigned herself to a passionless existence taking care of her mother and two maiden aunts. Then one day, she and Mr. Oto speak for the first time. To Mr. Oto, whose heart has been full from the moment he saw Sophie, it is one of life's miracles--when they finally break the silence of "the beauty of words unspoken."When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and Mr. Oto's newfound life comes under siege, it is Miss Anne who once again comes to his rescue in an act of uncommon courage and sacrifice. As for Sophie, who has fallen in love with Mr. Oto, she must decide how much she is willing to risk for a future with this man who has brought such joy into her life.A radiant novel that gets the rhythms and cadences of small-town life exactly right, Sophie and the Rising Sun tells an unforgettable story of a time when the world lost its innocence-and of a town that finds its redemption in an extraordinary love. It is a major achievement from a novelist of rare grace and power....

Title : Sophie and the Rising Sun
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780452283497
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sophie and the Rising Sun Reviews

  • Saleh MoonWalker
    2019-05-25 01:04

    Onvan : Sophie and the Rising Sun - Nevisande : Augusta Trobaugh - ISBN : 452283493 - ISBN13 : 9780452283497 - Dar 224 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2001

  • Carolyn
    2019-06-08 04:42

    This is a gentle, elegantly told story, almost Japanese in it's simple and lyrical telling. Mr Oto is a lonely American Japanese who has run away from his family in California and become a gardener for a Southern lady, Miss Anne, in a small seaside town in Georgia. Sophie is a middle aged lady who has spent her life unmarried taking care of first her mother and then her elderly aunts. They strike up an unlikely friendship but when news of Pearl Harbour reaches the town Sophie realises Mr Oto is in danger from those in the small minded town who judge people on their appearance. Mr Oto is a wonderful character, Ms Anne is warm and caring and Sophie, prickly and reserved in the beginning starts to thaw and grow as her friendship with Mr Oto develops. The author weaves the Japanese fable of the crane wife through their story, linking Mr Oto to his ancestry and his relationship with Sophie and this adds another beautiful element to this lovely tale.

  • Dale Harcombe
    2019-06-01 21:38

    A beautiful book set in the Georgian town of Salty Creek, where we meet Mr Oto, an American of Japanese descent. He is employed my Miss Anne as her gardener. Miss Anne is an engaging character and Mr Oto is as unassuming as this understated novel. The other main characters is Sophie, who has spent much of her life caring for her mother and maiden aunts, she found love only to have it ripped away from her. Then she meets Mr Oto. A friendship forms. But it comes to the attention of Miss Ruth, neighbourhood busybody and gossip. When Japan bombs Pearl Harbour Miss Anne realises with feelings running high, something must be done about Mr Oto.I fell in love with this story from the first page. It is as delicate and artful as a haiku on the beautiful crane on the cover of my copy. If you are looking for a fast paced story filled with action this will not suit you. But if you want to sink into a book of poetic prose, images and charming characters struggling against the fear and racism of the time, this should appeal. I thoroughly enjoyed it and liked the way the legend of the crane wife was integral in the story. Some people might query the ending. I thought it was perfect. I will be very interested to read another book by this author. I feel privileged to have spent time with this short but stunning novel.

  • Tracey
    2019-05-27 04:05

    I had no idea what to expect from this Netgalley book. I knew the synopsis - basically that a middle-aged spinster forms a friendship, perhaps more, with the Japanese gardener working for a friend right at the onset of America's involvement in WWII; that could go any number of ways. The way Sophie and the Rising Sun went was utterly beautiful. Mr. Oto - and that is all I'm going to call him, as his given name deserves the reveal it gets - is a lovely, lovely character, a man who has done a bit of drifting and is mildly startled to find himself fifty years old and gardening in Georgia. Sophie is a woman who has spent her entire life tending to the old ladies in her life, her mother and two elderly aunts, and now that they have all passed on she is doing some drifting of her own, continuing in the same direction like an object in motion remaining in motion without any outside influence. As the two drift together, something happens. If this had been all there was to the story - a gently growing connection between two people of different races and very different backgrounds - it would have been a good book. Placing a significant step in the growth of the relationship on the morning of December 7, 1947 helped push it over into something beyond good. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor comes, instantaneously, a rage against the Japanese or anyone who might be Japanese which ... sadly, which is reminiscent of the backlash against anyone perceived as Muslim in the time right after 9/11. A layer is peeled back from the soft and gentle Southern way of life, and what lies underneath is dangerous. Suddenly the town busybody, Ruth, is more than just a plaguey nuisance: she is a very real threat to not only what is emerging between Sophie and Mr. Oto but to their safety. Theirs, and that of anyone who helps them. There is a rather Asian feel to the story-telling, elegant and reserved, echoing the description of Mr. Oto's painting (one of those fictional pieces I'd love to be able to see). This is no ordinary romance novel where two people begin tearing each other's clothes off twelve minutes after they meet. The romance at its heart is gentler, harking back to older novels in the quiet intensity of feeling. Loved it.The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.

  • Pamela Pickering
    2019-06-08 23:41

    If you're looking for a gentle, heartwarming love story this is the story for you. Don't expect any hot sex scenes. lust, or strife, just the tender approach of love for an unlikely couple. The story is well written and can be read quickly--a good choice for a rainy day. It's too bad they don't write stories like this anymore. Quite a gem!

  • Cris Anne Imperial
    2019-06-18 00:40

    Oh, how lovely! This book will leave a smile on your face after finishing. I love all the dialogues: both the spoken and unspoken ones. It is simple and refreshing, a sweet love story without trying too hard. It is a novel with uncomplicated decisions from the main characters and it allows the readers to indulge on a basic blissful life. Oh, how lovely!

  • Nicole
    2019-05-18 23:55

    There is nothing better than just stumbling upon a book while perusing at the library, knowing nothing about it, and discovering that you have found a gem. That’s how it was with this one—Sophie and the Rising Sun, which I only picked up because my daughter’s name was in the title. It turned out to be such a lovely story. It’s a quick read—only about 200 pages—perfect for a rainy day.

  • Shari Larsen
    2019-06-04 03:48

    A very moving story about an extraordinary love and a town's prejudice during World War II. Set in the sleepy town of Salty Creek, Georgia, where strangers are rare, an unassuming stranger arrives; a quiet, Japanese man in his 50's, with secrets of his own. He becomes a new beginning for lonely Sophie, who lost her first love during World War I. She has resigned herself to a life of living alone, but that changes when she meets Mr. Oto. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Mr. Oto's newfound life comes under siege, he can't be certain of his safety, even in Salty Creek. Sophie must now decide how much she is willing to risk her life a future with a man who has brought such joy into her life.I really enjoyed this story; if you like author Nicholas Sparks, you will probably enjoy this story too. I think this would be great made into a movie, and I can totally see Kate Winslett playing Sophie.

  • Jacqueline
    2019-06-08 01:45

    Lovely sweet story of two 50somethings finding love at the start of the second world war. The hero was an extremely mild mannered man of Japanese descent and the heroine was a spinster who had spent her whole life looking after her mother and aunts. Most of the story was told through the eyes of the hero. I really enjoyed how he felt so much for the heroine without even really knowing her. And after they met, he really treated her like a princess. I loved the description of the painting that he did of her and would have loved to really see it.The book was a fast read but the story was slow moving and rather lyrical. The imagery was lovely and the relationship seemed destined and true.I could have used just a bit more concreteness at the end but all in all a very sweet story.I received this from netGalley for review.

  • Karen
    2019-06-12 00:44

    This book made me feel....poetic. That doesn't happen to me a lot. It has romance, but not the butterfly in the stomach kind....the actual learn what love feels like kind. The learning and growing and accepting and understanding that takes place in so many of the characters was really inspiring. There was nothing particularly beautiful in the book, but I would say it leaves you with a sense of beauty. True beauty. I loved how it switched back and forth between Miss Anne and narrator. By the end of the book I really loved Miss Anne. I wanted to go and visit her myself.The book follows the pace of life for this small town. Slow, but full of heart and meaning.This is one I would revisit.

  • Amy
    2019-05-28 06:08

    Given to me by a friend from Spirit Moves to read. Most of the reviews seem to classify this as a gentle little love story. Love story, yes. Gentle? I'm not so sure, because I, for one, can't really glean the ending of the story. There are several secrets in this book and the answer to the final one isn't all that clear to me.The story takes place in a small coastal town in Georgia just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The gardener of a town matron (Miss Anne) is a quiet fellow named Mr Oto. He is an American, of Japanese descent, though the town believes him to be Chinese. How he got to a small town in Georgia, from his home in California, is revealed through a back-story. He keeps pretty much to himself, but has found himself admiring, from afar, the town spinster, Sophie. Sophie's life might have taken a different track, had she not had to care for her mother and aging aunts, or had the man she loved, actually loved her back, and actually survived The Great War. In her middle years, she finds herself entering into a gentle friendship with the equally disappointed in life and love Mr Oto. They paint together, and share quiet beauties of the world around them. Each grows to love the other. But as this friendship grows into love, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and Mr Oto has to flee Salty Creek, for his own safety and for the safety of those who have befriended him.*****SPOILER ALERT*****There are a lot of secrets in this book: Mr Oto's heritage, where he is hiding, if Sophie's love actually loved her back, and ultimately, what happened to Sophie and Mr Oto. Metaphors abound in the book: the Japanese Crane that appears to Mr Oto, the little pink dogwood trees in Miss Anne's garden, the stuffed birds of her mother's that Sophie kept in small box, hurricanes, winds, the sea. I just find that I'm not 100% clear about how the story ended. Most people seem to think that Mr Oto and Sophie actually ran away together. But I have my doubts. He made a sacrifice to the sea, she to the winds. They may have been together at the end, but how the heck did they get away anywhere in the middle of the floods and winds of a hurricane. And if they did get away, they still have a myriad of problems of a mixed union at such a volatile time in our history. They would be welcome nowhere. Maybe the sea claimed them and swept their bodies so far out that they weren't washed up on shore anywhere. Maybe they escaped and started a life together. I'm just not sure. And the only person left in the story who might know, Big Sally, got bashed on the head with a blow hard enough to turn her bitter to nice and help her forget the secrets she kept.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-06-12 23:48

    3.5 Mr Otto is a middle aged man of Japanese ethnicity,although he was born in California and considers himself an American. Sophie is a middle aged spinster, having taken care of her mother and than her elderly aunts, and losing her first love in World War I. Taking place in a small town in Georgia, this is not a passionate love affair but a rather elegant one as is the writing in this novel. When Pearl Harbor is bombed all the small town stereotypes as well as the usual prejudices come into play. There are some wonderful characters in this novel and of course a town troublemaker, who has been causing Sophie trouble most of her life. This is a novel that is simply written but contains beautiful language and images. It is also about looking at a person beneath the surface, which a few amazing women in this town mange to do. It is about second chances and having the courage to form ones own opinions and the willingness and courage to grasp a future.

  • Tara Chevrestt
    2019-05-26 03:00

    I am really torn about this book. One one hand, I see a beautiful love story... Oto loves Sophie right away, and his is a beautiful love. There nothing even remotely ugly about Oto. His love isn't one of those, "Oh my manhood stirred at the sight of her and I imagined myself.." kind of loves. His love is pure, his character innocent and naive. Sophie, too, has a clean love for Otto. On the other hand, where the heck is this love coming from? Oto sees her and from then on, it's all about this weird crane sighting... How do you love someone so passionately that you have only seen from afar or sat there quietly with?Full review is on Book Babe:

  • Susan Burnongham
    2019-05-28 21:39

    In 1943 a mysterious stranger aarriver sin Salty Creek, Georgia. Mr. Oto, a quiet, unassuming, ,an beomes a gardner for Sophie, who lost her love during World War I. Sophie has resigned herself to a life craing for her aging mother and aging maiden aunts. I agonized until Miss Sophie and Mr. Oto finally speak. To Mr. Oto, whose heart has been full from the moment he saw Sophie,it is a miracle. When the Japanese bomb Peral Harbor, Mr. Oto's new found life comesunder seige. Is any joy possible for Mr. Oto or Sophie? Memorable characters will draw you in. This short novel is full of caring, compassionate characdters. I wanted them to find joy!

  • Jennifer Precise
    2019-06-13 01:44

    A quiet and introspective book. I picked this up expecting Southern gothic and instead received a delicate treatment of overcoming social barriers when a Japanese gardner falls in love with a hometown Georgia girl during the outbreak of World War II.

  • Nikita Maria (reclaiming my literacy)
    2019-05-29 01:38

    3.5 stars, but I'm feeling generous. :)Wow, just finished this today. I'd say this novel is more character-driven than plot-driven. If you're the kind of reader who enjoys getting to know the characters well over the course of a novel, then you'll enjoy this one. Trobaugh keeps a tight cast here, which I like because I think it's unnecessary when some novels start introducing random characters at various points just because. There's really 4 leads, maybe 5. The big focus here is on relationships between the female characters, though the romance between Sophie and Mr. Oto drives the plot forward. I choose to interpret the ending in a positive way, but I suppose it could go either way, depending on the type of reader you are. The setting is fully realized and you get a clear picture of it in your head as you're reading. I do wish we had a little more development on the relationship between Sophie and Mr. Oto--their romance was a slow-burner indeed, and then once it happened, it seemed to fly by too quickly. Another weak point was the bird motifs/metaphors--I get the crane thing, though it felt a little forced/intrusive at times, but the dead birds in the box still somewhat stumps me. Otherwise, I thought this was a pleasant little novel, not too profound but a good summer read. I plan on watching the movie adapatation so I may edit this and add some more thoughts on how the book and the movie compare.Notes on the movie: Just finished it. I cried. The movie is more intense than the book, but the ending is much clearer and I suppose makes more sense within the social context of the story. The movie also does a better job at capturing the zeitgeist of the era--while the book mentions the historical events that shape the setting, everything else about it could have very well taken place in a different decade. So the movie succeeds in letting us know this is the early 1940s. A note of caution--violence and sex are more explicit in the movie (it's rated R). The movie is fairly faithful to the book on some key plot points, but it also condenses some parts/characters and adds in new parts to enhance the story. This is somewhat spoilery, but the hurricane is not in the movie....

  • Carolyn Johnson
    2019-05-18 00:45

    This story was so touching and surprised me with its depth. I have read several books by this author, but this is the best. I saw the movie first, on Netflix, and loved it, and knew there must be more details in the book. I was rewarded with a tender story of love, which developed in a Southern town loaded with prejudice, hateful suspicion of other races and even of people who have different lives and thoughts. I have lived in small Southern towns with these suspicions, and experienced that hatred of people who are not white, Christian, or following in lock step the narrow views of the ruling class.

  • Eileen
    2019-05-25 03:05

    I recently bought this book at my library book sale. I had no idea what it was about or who the author was. I was drawn to it - the cover, the feel of it in my hands. I rarely give a book my highest 5 star rating, but I have added this one to my list. The storytelling was so divine and compelling that I would read a few chapters, put it down to savor what I read, and come back to it later. I actually didn't want the story to end. I loved it! I know I will re-read this book many more times in the future.

  • Renee
    2019-05-22 22:40

    Lovely story! I was entranced by the beautiful hearts of the main characters, especially Mr. Oto's. I enjoyed the feeling evoked of sipping iced tea on the front porch as old Miss Anne regaled me with this Southern tale . . . Love these quotes which those who've read the book might recall . . . "You should have seen their eyes!" "Sometimes I see Mr. Oto's face the way it looked when something especially beautiful bloomed under his care." ". . . And his nurturing her into the beautiful flower she was always meant to be."

  • Jesica
    2019-06-03 02:56

    BLOG: La historia me gusto pero no me mato..!

  • Maryanne Vetrone
    2019-06-16 01:40

    Quite a lovely read. It's a nice heartwarming story and a quick read. It's a beautiful insight into life in the south on Pearl Harbor day told in a very gentle way.

  • Plum-crazy
    2019-06-04 01:05

    Oh, what a lovely little book, a gentle tale of wartime love...a really enjoyable read.

  • Tiffany
    2019-06-06 02:52

    A little over 4 stars. Sweet and lyrical book about tender love between a woman and a Japanese gardener during the war with Japan in WWII. Great exploration of prejudice, love, and loneliness.

  • Anandah Bohl
    2019-05-28 22:47

    I loved most all of it, but the ending left something wanting.

  • Sheila
    2019-05-22 04:40

    In the years preceding America's entry into World War II, a quiet Georgia town called Salty Creek is home to a peculiar and risky romance. For quite some time, only polite and brief exchanges were ever had between a spinster named Sophie and Miss Anne's courteous and enigmatic “Chinese” gardener, Mr. Oto. Miss Anne, a moral woman whose memories of the event are at the center of this tale, provides Oto with refuge after he arrives, disgraced, starving, and essentially dropped from a Greyhound bus, in Salty Creek. Then, Oto notices Sophie and begins to fall in love. Sophie, whose own true love was lost in World War I, has settled on leading a dull and miserable existence following the death of her female family members for whom she cared. But somehow she is drawn to Mr. Oto. Love always seems to find us when we are not searching... ...Eventually, a strong friendship develops between them. While the rest of the townspeople attend church services on Sunday, Sophie and Oto sit quietly by the river and paint. Both recognize the unconventional nature of their relationship and proceed with precaution as a result. Yet the passion they feel for each other slowly rises to the surface, just in time for hell to be unleashed. Oto, who is only mistaken by the simple townspeople for someone of Chinese ancestry, is actually Japanese by descent (though he is California-born), and when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, he is forced into hiding to escape the onslaught of misguided aggression and, in some cases, unadulterated hatred. Now, Sophie and Miss Anne provide what they can to sustain Oto, but will it be enough, or are the divisions caused by war too great for them to bear? Sophie and the Rising Sun is a romance that deals with the problems of racial tensions and gives us an account of love's power to overcome even seemingly insurmountable obstacles, such as great disparities in age or ancestry. The novel is the most recent release from Augusta Trobaugh, whose stories have a lot to offer for those readers who can never get enough of romance. Sophie and the Rising Sun is pleasant and simple to read, but there is a certain intricacy to the plot. Perhaps it is the story's ability to grapple with some difficult topics, or maybe it is the nearly poetic innocence of Sophie and Oto's blossoming love (even in spite of its seeming so uncharacteristic). Whatever the reason, if you happen to be a fan of romance, you do not want to pass up Sophie and the Rising Sun by Augusta Trobaugh, available in bookstores everywhere.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-30 00:08

    I was excited to see an Asian male/white female (amwf, as it’s known online) story pop up on Netgalley. They can be hard to find, and I thought the dual extra setting of the racist rural south and WWII would make it more interesting. I still don’t doubt that these positive things are what the author was going for, but it didn’t quite come through for me in the story.Trobaugh picked an interesting writing structure that I found worked well for the story. It’s a mix of an elderly Miss Anne relating her part of the story of what she saw occur between Sophie and Mr. Oto and an omniscient third person narration. There were also some truly beautiful sequences in the book.I am disappointed then that I felt the story itself didn’t live up to the writing. Trobaugh falls prey to some stereotyping tropes.In spite of falling for a white woman, everything else about Mr. Oto is stereotype 101 for Asian-American men. He is: quiet, reserved, effeminate, painfully polite, and bows all the time. The bowing really bothered me, because Mr. Oto was born in America to first generation immigrant parents. I don’t know any first generation Americans who hold on to societal norms from their parents’ country around anyone but their family.The other minority character is “Big Sally.” She is, surprise surprise, domestic help. Anyone who was here for The Real Help Reading Project will be aware of all the stereotypes surrounding black women domestic workers. The main one being of course that they’re happy to be the help and will gladly help out white women who are kind to them with their problems. Kind of the all-knowing wise woman who just so happens to scrub your floors. I was truly saddened to see Sally show up and play this role to a T.Overall then, Trobaugh can indeed write. The book was highly readable and contains some eloquent passages. In spite of attempting a progressive message, though, the book falls to the easier method of plugging in a couple of stereotyped, two-dimensional characters. I hope in future works Trobaugh will put more work into developing truly three-dimensional minority characters. This will strengthen her work and make it more than just a piece of chick lit repeating the same old tropes.Check out my full review. (Link will be live July 12, 2012).Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • bookyeti
    2019-06-06 23:55

    delicate as a paper craneSimply, yet beautifully, written and poignant, Sophie and the Rising Sun — a narrative, in the plaintive voice of various characters — takes place in a sleepy southern town in Georgia.Sophie, a refined southern lady and middle-aged spinster, finds she has depleted her “young and beautiful years” caring for her elderly mother and aunts, after her beau, Henry, never returned from WWI. Finds herself quite resigned to the idea of never finding love at her age, Sophie, finds solace in painting by the town’s beautiful river, and meeting with her dear friend Miss Anne — that is, until Grover Oto moves into town, under mysterious circumstances.Gentlemanly and kind, Mr. Oto, an American-born man of Japanese decent, is soon commissioned as Miss Anne’s gardener. Despite being limited to mere greetings in passing, Oto and Sophie form a suppressed friendship. Discovering they both share a passion for creating art, they meet weekly at the river, painting in comfortable silence as their connection to each other flourishes. However, between the antics of Ruth - the prejudiced town meddler - and the rigid racial and social structure of the time, it is almost guaranteed that the unconventional duo of Sophie and Mr. Oto will be expected to keep a formal distance. Forced into hiding from the enraged townsfolk, after the Pearl Harbour bombing, Oto experiences the full consequences of the attack, as Sophie and Miss Anne courageously support him. Will he and Sophie ever be able to realize their true feelings for each other, in a society that is so obstinate regarding their cultural differences?Through the words and reactions of her characters, the author offers a unique perspective of the events at Pearl Harbor. In its own way, the entire substance of the novel serves as a social commentary on the war’s psychological fall-out — including the malicious treatment (thinly veiled as patriotism) of Japanese immigrants, American citizens, living in United States.And yet, the elegiac cadences of Trobaugh’s prose, coupled with her tender imagery and ambiance, adds an emotional richness to this touching account. Lovely for a light, but unforgettable, weekend read, Sophie and the Rising Sun is highly recommended.

  • Nada
    2019-05-24 00:02

    Review first published on my blog: and the Rising Sun is a story of World War II - specifically of World War II right as the attack on Pearl Harbor happens. It is a story of that time but set in a small Georgia town. As such, it is period piece about the American South.Sophie is the town spinster with an overpowering mother and a lost love in her background. Ms. Anne is the one in town not afraid to do things a little differently. Ms. Ruth is the town busybody. And Mr. Oto is the anomaly in town - an American of Japanese heritage who lands in the town and stays. The book is about the "friendship" between Sophie and Mr. Oto and the ramifications of the Pearl Harbor attacks on this small town and these individuals. The book is about the choices the characters make in response to the war and the consequences.Sophie and the Rising Sun is a delightful story to read. It is definitely more a story of small town America than war. The news of Pearl Harbor is the trigger for what follows. However, the focus clearly remains on the individual characters and this small town. It is interesting to feel the town and characters so far removed from the war yet at the same time so deeply embedded in it because of the prejudice and fear it created.The prejudices in our lives come across so clearly in this book. Mr. Oto is as American as Ms. Ruth, yet is judged by the way he looks and speaks and by his heritage. Certain people cannot look past the surface differences to see that he is just like them. We would like to think this does not happen here in America, but unfortunately it did and it still does. So, I found myself laughing because the "period piece" nature of this book made the prejudices seem ludicrous. However, I also found myself thinking that this could very well occur now but hoping that it will not.***Reviewed for the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program***

  • Brandy
    2019-05-26 22:44

    "Sophie and the Rising Sun" by Augusta Trobaugh is a bit like a haiku in novel form: brief, beautiful, full of symbolism and complex for its simplicity. It is romantic in the very best way, pitting the idealism of love against the cold realities of circumstance.Told in various viewpoints, the story places a not-quite-hopeless spinster and a middle-aged Japanese-American gardener in a small Southern town on the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The author chose her setting in which dangerous prejudice was a historical fact rather than an outdated Southern stereotype. (It's a pet peeve of mine that, in modern works, Southern characters are often subject to being painted with a broad brush of colloquialisms and ignorance. I appreciated that this author respected her characters, even her main villain, more than that. There are archetypes, but no ridiculous caricatures.)There is a curious lack of male characters of any real importance (other than the male protagonist), which I realized after I finished reading the book. I wouldn't say this detracts, though. References to Christianity are present more for characterizations (certain hypocritical characters) than for thematic reasons. My one critical note with the story is (view spoiler)[that the author trades the emotional payload of showing the lovers' fate for a mysterious, mythic ending. Because the viewpoints alternated, it would have been possible to leave one narrator in the dark while letting the reader glimpse the true outcome, rather than strongly hinting that everything worked out all right. (hide spoiler)] I can respect this artistic decision, but it's not my preference.Recommended for lovers of small Southern coastal towns, fans of Japanese culture, and readers who appreciate a gentle romance.

  • MissSusie
    2019-05-19 01:57

    I am not sure what I was expecting when I started this book but what I got was a beautiful chaste love story between southern belle Sophie and Japanese American Mr. Oto. This was a beautifully written look at the south during the time of Pearl Harbor and everything changed for Mr. Oto and the women in his life his boss Miss Ann and his friend (and woman he loves) Miss Sophie. But this was so much more than a love story; it’s a friendship story and also a historical look at a very tough time especially for Japanese Americans and the people who cared about them, and the people who blamed them for everything.This was a sweet story and even the “bad guy/woman” was redeemable she wasn’t so much a bad guy just an old busybody. My favorite character was Big Sally, or Queen Sally as she’d rather be called, she took such good care of everyone. I liked the friendships in this book between Sally, Sophie and Miss Ann.This is a short, but good story , if you are a fan southern fiction and/or friendship stories I would recommend this one.This was narrated by Rue McClanahan of Golden Girls fame and she did a good job but sometimes with someone so recognizable her voice almost gets in the way of the story because you are picturing her as all the characters instead of the characters speaking for themselves.4 stars