Danny and Ito Are Growing Up…November 15, 2019
During The Great Depression and the historic events that followed, children were forced to do one thing prematurely – grow up. We watched Danny and Ito turn from boys to young men in my first novel, Honed Virtue. We watched them battle bullies, talk about girls, venture through school, and become entrepreneurs. We left the pages of Honed Virtue with a feeling of safety and security – the boys were out of harm’s way and they were growing into fine young men. They lived next door to one another and they were inseparable.
Well, as it happens so often in war, people get separated. Loved ones are pulled apart and taken from one another. The seed for war was planted in Danny and Ito’s heads at the beginning of my new book ,The Blade, The Blood, The Bigotry, so that was their first wake-up call that it was time to grow up even further.
They grew up quickly during The Great Depression, fending for their families, working hard and learning all about the hardships of life, but they really had to grow up when it came to war.
And the first taste of that for Danny and Ito was when Ito’s family received executive orders to leave. Here’s a passage from chapter one of my new book:
With the uncertain duration of their separation ahead, there was an urgency to hold onto one another. So much was still unsaid—arms enclosed, hands linked securely, heads touched as they held to each other in a single emotion. The unity of their lives was fully understood. The moments left allowed for only the most meaningful words. Their permanent bond was confirmed. All that they believed, felt, and valued had become one enduring family: Father Watanabe, Mother Watanabe, Ito, Gran, and Danny.
There was a sense of unreality about what was happening. It defied all reason. Some marching off to war, some marching off to internment, and everyone marching off into an uncertain future.
The whistle blew, and the train did what trains inevitably do.
The gravity of saying goodbye to a best friend is something that would never leave Danny or Ito. But it was just the beginning of something far worse. These boys faced the brutalities of war and everything it involved. I hope you’ll continue this journey with them as they embark on the new chapter of their lives.