Sophie and the Rising Sun

Sophie and the Rising Sun

by Augusta Trobaugh

Debbie Weiss (07/09/14): Sophie and the Rising Sun reminds me very much of the lovely book The Housekeeper and the Professor. The story is simple, elegant and beautifully written. The characters are people we can understand and have compassion for --- we truly care about them.

Sophie is a woman who spent most of her adult life caring for her mother and her two aunts. She never married. She did have a love once, but Henry went off to WWI and never returned. Sophie is content to live her life in the small Southern town without any romantic involvement and enjoys sitting by the river and painting all alone.

Enter Mr. Oto into the story! Mr. Oto has his own secretive history, but arrives on a bus one day, very ill. The town doctor and his wife nurse him back to health and Mr. Oto stays on, living in a small cabin on Miss Anne's property. He is Japanese-American and originally from California. He is quiet, polite, intelligent and artistic. He falls in love with Sophie, but he doesn't dare tell her so.

All goes well until the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. The towns people now look suspiciously upon Mr. Oto and there is a concern that he is in danger from their antics. He goes into hiding. Then a hurricane blows into town. The next morning Sophie is gone. What happened to Sophie?
Rating: ****+

Judy Stanton (05/28/14): Sophie and the Rising Sun is a story set in small town South Georgia in 1939. With lovely old southern expressions, a great sense of humor, and concise chapters that keep the storyline moving, Southern writer Augusta Troubaugh has written a little gem of a novel about finding love and friendship in unlikely places. Most of the story is told from sweet Miss Anne's point-of-view. Being such a proper Southern lady, it's delightful when she occasionally "tells it like it is." From page 1 the question the book seeks to answer is "What happened to Sophie?" a single younger lady, brought up by her mother and aunts, stuck in a small town with the young men off fighting and dying in the war. The busybody "holier than thou" church lady certainly wants to know. The book never fully answers the question, but beautifully describes the journey. 4+
Rating: ****+

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