Think of LeRoy in 1942. It was the beginning of World War II. Men and women were enlisting and being drafted following the horrific bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. How would the LeRoy residents react if the government relocated Japanese American citizens from California to a Japanese internment camp a couple miles outside of town? Would people accept them –would LeRoy residents be afraid of them – would the citizens of Le Roy think of the camp occupants as a threat to our small town rural life?
This is the theme of the book, “Tall Grass” by Sandra Dallas the Tuesday Afternoon Book Club chose for their May selection. The story is told through the eyes of Rennie Stroud, a 13 year old, living on a farm in rural Colorado. Her family’s farm is located a mile or so from the internment camp housing Japanese families from California. The Japanese are all American citizens. Up until this time life has been what her father told her, predictable and fair. But now the winds of change are coming and with them, a shift in her perspective. Many in the community are upset and concerned about the occupants of the camp moving to their area.
The book is about a battle of reasoned people against unreasoned fear and prejudice. Part thriller, part historical novel, “Tall Grass” is a book you won’t want to put down. The author has a wonderful gift of writing in a way to make you feel a part of the story.
Sandra Dallas, the author of this book, is a favorite of the Book Club. She has written a number of novels, many with a historical theme. “True Sisters”, New Mercies” and “Prayers for Sale” are a few of her other books you might enjoy. Stop by the LeRoy Public Library to check these out.