I’ve completed my fourth novel. Both a mystery and a love story, How Much Do You Love Me? is an historical novel set during the Japanese-American internment of World War II. Many in our society today are unaware of the injustice done to Japanese Americans, citizens and noncitizens alike, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. More than 120,000 men, women, and children–nearly all from the west coast of the United States–were rounded up and sent to ten hastily-built War Relocation Centers. Many stayed there until war’s end.
My novel follows the life of a pregnant Japanese-American girl who gets uprooted from her home in Bellevue, Washington, and is interned at the Tule Lake Center in northern California. My story flips back and forth between World War II and the year 2000. It is in that year that the daughter of the protagonist, the internment mother, uncovers a mystery that her mother has been hiding since the war. Ultimately, my book is a love story. The novel’s title foreshadows its message and its touching conclusion: highlighting the extent to which human beings can love one another, especially during those difficult times when fate does its best to sidetrack our very humanity.