Stewart David Ikeda's epic novel of a Japanese American family begins with the birth of its hero aboard the ship that brings his parents to the United States and ends in the aftermath of a great national shame: the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.
William Fujita is cast out of California, uprooted from the family nursery business he loved so much, "relocated" into an armed prison camp, and beset by almost unutterable loss. Barred from his home, he finds himself on the cold slopes of New England in the closing months of the Second World War. There, he must battle grief, prejudice, and his own conscience to survive and to reconcile himself with families old and new. As he searches for the mysterious Yoneko - a young woman who holds the key to connecting his shattered past to his uncertain future - Fujita meets unexpected allies in a small Massachusetts farming town. Working for Margaret Kelly, a fiery widow who discovers the grief and passion beneath his reserved surface, Fujita endeavors to prepare for planting that unpromising tract known as Widow's Peak. Together with Margaret, a war widow named Livvie, and her scared and damaged young son, Garvin, Fujita becomes an unwilling participant in an impromptu family bonded by sacrifice, intrigue, and unanticipated love.
Winner of the Avery & Jule Hopwood Award for Major Fiction and a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, What the Scarecrow Said has been called "a tale full of vivid movement and fresh insight (L.A. Times)" that is "powerful and unforgettable (Ann Arbor Observer)", and "a success on all levels (Portland Oregonian)".