Snow Falling on Cedars Summary & Study Guide

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Snow Falling on Cedars opens in 1954 in the small town of Amity Hill. The fictitious island of San Piedro in Washington's Puget Sound is the setting of a trial. Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with the murder of a fellow fisherman, Carl Heine Jr.; Carl's body was discovered in his nets by the sheriff and his deputy. A fracture in Carl's skull cast suspicion on his death. Evidence points to Kabuo.

In addition to fishing, farming (especially strawberries) is a major industry on San Piedro. Many Japanese worked these fields and became members of the community. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, however, people of Japanese descent were sent away to internment camps. In 1954, there is still lingering distrust towards the Japanese and the prejudice is an unspoken but important force in Kabuo's trial.

Guterson structures his novel around the trial, the only event told in...

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This section contains 785 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Snow Falling on Cedars Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Snow Falling on Cedars from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.