Friday, May 4, 2012

Review - At the Foot of the Lighthouse by Erin Hoffman

At the Foot of the Lighthouse (Todai Moto Kurashi)At the Foot of the Lighthouse
by Erin Hoffman
ebook, 32 pages
Published May 2nd 2012 by Tom Doherty Associates


I am American. We are all Americans.The year is 1942. A Japanese-American girl’s life is turned upside down by Executive Order 9066, and she must cope with a life confined to the barbed wire of an internment camp in the Arizona desert. There, she struggles to weigh her continued loyalty to her country (which has betrayed and ostracized everyone she loves) against a closely guarded family secret that could change the course of history.

My Review:


This story is not long... I want to say, "just go read it real quick and get your own impression" 'cause it's short and fast and free at But I didn't read it until I saw the review at Calico Reaction... and the review was pretty mind-blowing. (Which is how I found the story!)

For being so short, it's jamb-packed with explosive emotion. I've experienced some prejudice and maybe that effects my understanding of the story, but the author's intentions were immediately clear to me. I read her comments and then hopped over to her responding post just to see if I was close.

What I love about this story is that I felt Japanese-American reading it. I felt loyal and innocent and hurt. I felt prejudice, yes, but not just being singled out... I felt separated AND misunderstood on separate levels and that's just amazing.

Also... I didn't know about the Japanese camps in America. I hadn't realized we did that. What I learned about World War II and the Japanese is centered around Pearl Harbor and the atomic bombs, lots of stories and details surrounding them, enough for me to say "enough!" and not ask any more questions.  I knew there was more I didn't know... but I had no idea about camps in America.

I want to quote Calico Reaction's review because this is why I read this story:
The story invites multiple readings. It’s one of those sneaky ones that you read a certain way the first time through, and by time you hit the ending, you realize you need to read it again from a different point of view. Those, in my opinion, are always the best stories, because that means there’s layers, and the possibility of getting more out of said story out of every read.
Yea... I love multiple-angle stories and having to re-read to find a different point of view and I agree that those are the best stories.

About the Author:

Erin Hoffman was born in San Diego and now lives with her husband, two parrots, and two dogs in northern California. She started an online writing group at age 15, and at 18 started as an assistant game designer for Simutronics on DragonRealms. Her other game credits include Shadowbane: The Lost Kingdom, GoPets: Vacation Island, Kung Fu Panda World, and FrontierVille. She also serves on the International Game Developers Association’s board of directors, writes for the award-winning online magazine The Escapist, and has had fiction and poetry in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Electric Velocipede, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and more. In 2004 her blog on game industry quality of life, “ea_spouse”, was covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and LA Times, and is now referenced in numerous game history and corporate history studies.

Erin’s games have won multiple awards and have been played by over 23 million kids and adults worldwide. She is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, and her first novel, Sword of Fire and Sea, is forthcoming from Pyr Books in June 2011

Find & Follow:

Get a copy of her book!!

At the Foot of the Lighthouse is free!! Go read it!!!

Erin's other books:

Lance of Earth and Sky just released April 24, 2012