Friday, March 31, 2017

Gardens of Hope

Gardens of Hope
Gardens of Hope: A Novel by [Perronne, Michael Holloway]Can two men from the same city but segregated worlds maintain a connection during a time in US history that not only brands one of them as the enemy but denies that a love such as theirs exists?

On the surface, Jack appears to have all a man in World War II era 1941 could want with his solid middle-class background, upcoming college graduation, and the perfect, devoted fiancee. But one night when he accidentally stumbles upon a shadow life of men who desire other men in a Downtown Los Angeles park, he begins to realize exactly what has always left him with a feeling of emptiness.

Despite the constant danger of being arrested by vice cops, Jack continues to visit the park every chance he has to feel a connection, no matter how fleeting, with another man. One night he meets a handsome and charismatic Japanese-American, Hiro, who appears to want more than a quick encounter, and Jack surprises himself by starting to truly fall in love for the first time.

However, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066 and orders the mandatory relocation of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, who have never been charged with a crime, to far flung internment camps sites. Jack and Hiro suddenly find themselves torn apart before their secret, fledgling romance can blossom.

Desperate to find and reconnect with Hiro, Jack accepts a high school teaching position at an internment camp in the California desert, Manzanar. There, surrounded by armed guard towers and a prison-like environment, Jack begins to fully realize the injustices being faced by Japanese-Americans during one of the most controversial times of United States history and shifts his world view- forever.

About the Author

Michael Holloway Perronne
Michael Holloway Perronne is a writer living in Los Angeles. He has a BA from the University of Southern Mississippi and a MFA from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans. His debut novel, A Time Before Me, won Foreward Magazine’s Bronze Award in Gay & Lesbian Literature. “Gardens of Hope” is his seventh book. For more information on Michael, please visit his website at

My Review
Gardens of Hope is a well written novel that follows a period of history that many people forget about. The book looks into the time when 100,000 Japanese-Americans, who have never been charged with a crime, ended up in internment camps sites due to fear. During this scary time Jack and Hiro end up separated before their romance can truly bloom. The romance between the two is sweet, but in my mind the true center of the book is how Jack comes to see how wrong the camps are when he get a job as a teacher in a high school in the camp. The author truly did a great job in merging fact, fiction, and romance together.

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