I finished Nina Revoyr’s new book, Wingshooters, and have recovered now. It’s a gripping and sad story of a young half-Japanese girl left with her bigoted grandfather and quiet, dutiful grandmother in rural Wisconsin. The grandfather is a complex character who tries to protect Michelle from the racial prejudices of the townsfolk yet joins them in despising and trying to run off the new black couple. Revoyr paints a great picture of the wild Wisconsin countryside of the 70s, the hunting and beer-drinking men who inhabit it, and the insular small attitudes of people who have never left their own town. Overall a thoughtful read with a good dose of excitement. Made me feel lucky.
In a house on the edge of cornfields,
Lived two little girls who turned brown as acorns
In the summer sun.
Hidden behind the plain ranch house
Was a garden of cool water and mystery
From the Orient.
Inside were big silver trunks
That held silken treasure and wooden clogs
That no one wore.
The girls pretended they were regular people,
Even though everyone knew they were not.
But they were lucky.
They only cried a few times,
When other children called them names
That rang in their ears
Like temple bells clanging.
“Cherry Blossoms in Twilight”