Above the East China Sea: 2015 Top Ten

The second on my list of favorite books from 2015 (I read them in 2015 but they weren’t necessarily published that year) is one I also mentioned on this blog last January:

East China

Sarah Bird’s masterful work of historical fiction is every bit as moody and melancholy as Katy Simpson Smith’s The Story of Land and Sea. Bird situates her dual timeline in 1945 and in contemporary Okinawa. During World War II, young Tamiko experiences the savagery of the final months of the conflict between Japan and the United States. In modern day Okinawa, the teenaged Luz tries to make sense of her older sister’s recent death as she adjusts to this new air force posting with her mother.

As both of these young women struggle to stay alive, they learn about the importance of love and family, patriotism and country. Part mystery, part ghost story, part coming-of-age tale, this is a mesmerizing novel.