Snow Falling on Cedars

David Guterson (1995)

Am I the only person who hadn’t read this best-seller? A captivating interweaving of romance, social commentary, murder mystery and historical drama, set on San Piedro Island in the Pacific Northwest.

The story opens in 1954. Japanese-American Kabuo Miyamoto has been charged with the murder of a fellow fisherman. Ishmael Chambers, the editor/owner of the local paper, is covering the trial and serves as the narrator. It becomes apparent early on that he is emotionally tied to the proceedings, and through his telling, the reader learns the personal history shared between the deceased, the accused, Kabuo’s wife Hatsue and Ishmael.

This book is a fascinating character study that effortlessly moves from the tension of the courtroom to the unpredictable life on the sea, from the humiliation of the Japanese internment camps to the precious memories of a childhood spent among the cedar and strawberry fields of the Washington coast.


One thought on “Snow Falling on Cedars

  1. An incredible book. I’m currently reading it for my junior paper in high school and can honestly say that its the first curricular novel that ive ever actually enjoyed. now go buy it dammit!!

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