Reading Corner: Alison Hampshire | Aga Khan Academies

Reading Corner: Alison Hampshire


This month, Alison Hampshire, Head of the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa shares her recommendation of ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ by David Guterson. Read on to find out a little on what the book is about, and why Alison enjoyed it.
Set on the Pacific island of San Piedro in 1954, the novel opens with the trial of Kabuo an American-Japanese man accused of murdering a fellow fisherman and war veteran. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. Thirteen years after the American bombing of Pearl Harbour, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched.

Not only is it a beautifully written page turner but Snow Falling on Cedars is an investigation into the sources of prejudice. In the novel it becomes clear that the passive hatred and prejudice on San Piedro did not originate with World War II, rather, the war merely unleashed and legitimized decades-old prejudices that had previously been suppressed. Whilst reading, I felt it offered me some insight and understanding of the polarisation of people's attitudes in the US and UK that appears to be taking place currently.

Find 'Snow Falling on Cedars' on Goodreads »