Snow Falling on Cedars Essay

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In the following review, Yogi praises Guterson for his research but criticizes Snow Falling on Cedars for its uneven pace and the underdevelopment of its main character.

David Guterson's well-written first novel is at various moments a courtroom drama, an interracial love story and a war chronicle. Guterson melds these components into a novel that explores how individuals and communities abuse, retreat from or use their histories as motivating forces.

Set in 1954 on the fictional island of San Piedro near the San Juan Islands in Washington, Snow Falling on Cedars focuses on the trial of Kabuo Miyomoto, a Nisei (second-generation Japanese American) charged with the murder of a fellow fisherman and childhood friend, Carl Heine.

The novel unfolds to reveal complex relationships among the book's main characters: Kabuo; his wife, Hatsue; Carl Heine; and Ishmael Chambers, the local newspaper owner who is covering the trial.

Before the war...

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This section contains 593 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Snow Falling on Cedars from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.