Two young daredevil flyers confront ugly truths and family secrets during the U.S. internment of Japanese citizens during World War II, from the author of The Other Typist and Three-Martini Lunch.
Louis Thorn and Haruto “Harry” Yamada — Eagle and Crane — are the star attractions of Earl Shaw’s Flying Circus, a daredevil (and not exactly legal) flying act that traverses Depression-era California. The young men have a complicated relationship, thanks to the Thorn family’s belief that the Yamadas — Japanese immigrants — stole land that should have stayed in the Thorn family.
When Louis and Harry become aerial stuntmen, performing death-defying tricks high above audiences, they’re both drawn to Shaw’s smart and appealing stepdaughter, Ava Brooks. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and one of Shaw’s planes mysteriously crashes and two charred bodies are discovered in it, authorities conclude that the victims were Harry and his father, Kenichi, who had escaped from a Japanese internment camp they had been sent to by the federal government. To the local sheriff, the situation is open and shut. But to the lone FBI agent assigned to the case, the details don’t add up.
Thus begins an investigation into what really happened to cause the plane crash, who was in the plane when it fell from the sky, and why no one involved seems willing to tell the truth. By turns an absorbing mystery and a fascinating exploration of race, family and loyalty, Eagle and Crane is that rare novel that tells a gripping story as it explores a terrible era of American history.
Louis and Harry are friends but yet enemies. To say their relationship is complicated is an understatement. Harry and Louis attend a flying circus. Harry decides he wants to WALK THE WING of the plane. Well! Louis is not to be outdone. They both do it and do it splendidly! They decide to join this flying circus and be stuntmen. This is just the beginning of their tale.
Harry is Japanese at a time in our country’s history when it is not too popular to be Japanese. His family is ridiculed and eventually placed in an internment camp due to Executive Order 9066. He and his father escape and this puts the FBI on their trail. Then they are both killed in a plane crash…so what happened?
This is just one of the great storylines in this read. The camps, the flying circus, the mystery of the plane crash kept me glued to this book. I read it in two days!
The author did a fabulous job with the historical research. And there is a lot of history in this read and it ties the whole story together. How the flying circus survived, how awful the camps were, how terrible it was to be Japanese are just a few fascinating facts floating throughout this tale.
The story is a little long and has a large amount of description. But, it is unique in many ways. With the flying circus, WWII, Japanese Camps and the mystery, I was hooked.