I'm not sure what I think of this book by Cynthia Kadohata. At first, I wasn't sure I liked it. It's one of those books that's not really about anything. I'm not sure I could sum up the plot: it's a young Japanese girl growing up in Georgia and her family surviving. It doesn't sound terribly interesting. (I'm not sure how many kids would be taken in by the cover, either.)
And yet, it's a lovely book, word-wise; very evocative of place and mood. You easily get a sense of Katie's wonder at the world, at her love for her sister (and eventually her younger brother). And because of the language, it becomes a beautiful tribute to sisters and to growing up. Katie would do anything for Lynn, even when the going gets difficult. Lynn loves Katie, even when she's being a teenager and thinks Katie's too immature. It's a testament to family and to how pulling together family can get someone through just about everything.
It's heartbreaking at the end, when Lynn becomes ill and eventually dies. Katie not only helps nurse her through her illness, but has to help her family pick up the pieces and move on. It's not easy; there are times when everyone loses it. But, they do move on, remembering Lynn yet not ending their lives for her.
It was a good book. Much better than I was expecting, and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.
Cross-posted at Book Nut.