A Girl Like You
A Girl Like You is a coming-of-age story set during WWII. Fifteen-year-old Satomi has a white father and a Japanese mother and is not sure where she fits in. When the war erupts, suddenly she and her mother are treated like the enemy. Her father joins the navy to prove his patriotism and to provide his family with some protection. He rationalizes that no one can think they are un-American if he enlists. Unfortunately, he is wrong, and Satomi and her mother are forced to leave their home and move to an internment camp in the mountains of Colorado. Though they live in horrible conditions, they make the best of their situation, and Satomi learns to take pride in her Japanese heritage.
Lindley’s novel unflinchingly examines both the white and Japanese experience during WWII. Giving Satomi both a white and a Japanese parent puts her character in the precarious position of being forced to choose one side while she lives in both worlds. Lindley’s description of life in the internment camp is haunting and moving. The book loses its way a bit in the second half, when Satomi tries to establish a life for herself after the war. She falls into a series of unlikely events, which seem to come out of nowhere. Luckily, these events are a brief detour, and the book ends in a way that will satisfy the reader. Recommended.