On Liberty's Wings

A Post-WWII Novel

by Diane Dettmann


Book Details


The end of World War II signals a new beginning for America, but for twenty-two-year-old Yasu Nakahara and her family, harsh prejudices remain. Now married and leading a new life, Yasu faces barriers almost as unyielding as the years she and her family spent imprisoned in the Japanese internment camp in California during the war. Motivated by flashbacks of armed military guards and barbwire fences, Yasu strives to build a new life. She pours her heart and soul into her new teaching position while her husband Masato, a World War II veteran, faces his own battles of attaining an engineering degree and securing a job.
On Liberty’s Wings: A Post-WWII Novel is a story of the strength of the human spirit and focuses on themes of forgiveness, choice, prejudice and change. Become immersed in Yasu’s evolution and her family’s recovery as they celebrate victories and grieve their losses.

Many novels focus on the Japanese internment camp experience; but far fewer continue the story to document the ongoing challenges faced by the Japanese as they—and American society—recover in the aftermath of war. The different forms of prejudice that continue to complicate Yasu’s life, even for something as simple as a real estate transaction, are especially revealing and powerfully portrayed.

The story stands nicely alone as an individual piece, but when read in the wider context of Yasu’s life, it helps the reader form a bigger picture of the World War II experience. When taken as an integral part of Dettmann’s blossoming series, it is recommended for mature teens to adult readers seeking far more psychological depth and social inspection into this period of America’s history. —Diane Donovan, Senior Editor Midwest Reviews

“Courage is more than going through the trial; it is living through the aftermath. On Liberty’s Wings is a poignant, engrossing story of young Japanese Americans pursuing the American dream with grace and determination in the face of post-World War II prejudice. Beautifully written, a story that touches the hearts of readers.” —Narita Roady, Book Blogger and Writer “Diane weaves in the intensity of racial actions and words with a story that ‘Americanizes’ a small Japanese American family just trying to make it in post-World War II America. They face the additional challenge of experiencing the advantages and disadvantages of being a minority in our society. Dettmann captures the basic goodness in human nature, showing how many treated this family as if they weren’t different while including reminders that negative racial thoughts are as much a part of human nature as that goodness. As a third generation Japanese American born and raised in the Midwest, I believe that Diane writes with an awareness of what it’s like being racially different that is quite accurate.” --John Suzukida


Book Excerpt

CHAPTER 1 Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 1948

The clang of the alarm clock jolted Yasu awake before dawn. She rubbed her eyes,amd rolled over and snuggled up to Masato.He wrapped his long arms around her and gently kissed her on the cheek.
In the darkness of early morning, Masato whispered in her ear, “I love you so much. I'm happy to be married to you.”

“I love you, too.” She leaned back and looked up at him. “I never thought we’d ever see each other again. I can still see you and Haro waving from that bus filled with all those young men who were forced to join the army. When the gates to the internment camp slammed shut, I watched the bus roll along the dirt road beyond the barbwire, terrified of what would happen to you and Haro.”

Tears rolled down Yasu’s cheeks as she thought about her brother Haro. She missed him deeply.

Masato hugged her tight and brushed her tears away. “I know. I miss him, too. War is terrible. Glad it’s over and we have each other.” He whispered, “You smell wonderful. We better get up. I don’t want to be late for class.”

The predawn glow lit up the curtains. Yasu crawled out of bed and scooted off to the bathroom. When she returned, Masato was dressed and had his books tucked under his arm. He gave her a gentle kiss and rushed down stairs.

Yasu yawned, slipped her nightgown over her head and quickly pulled on her clothes. She fluffed her hair into place and smoothed the wrinkles from the chenille bedspread while admiring the shiny wedding ring on her finger. As she walked downstairs and into the kitchen, she could still feel Masato’s strong arms wrapped around hers.

“Good Morning, my sweet butterfly,” Father said and suddenly began to cough. He covered his mouth and cleared his throat.

“Father, are you feeling OK?” Yasu asked.

“I’m fine, just a little tickle. It’s nothing. You look radiant this morning. Marriage agrees with you.”

Yasu blushed as she poured herself a cup of coffee from the pot on the stove. “Yes, I’m very happy. Not only for my marriage to Masato, but also for having you and Mother here. I prayed so hard that the two of you would be released from the camp and we’d be together again.” Yasu took a sip of coffee. “I miss Haro so much. He could be a big tease, but I loved him dearly. When he and Masato left that day, I never imagined he would not come back.”

Father stared out the kitchen window. “I know. I miss him every single day and always will. It’s hard losing those you love, especially your child.”

A few minutes later, Mother shuffled in with a huge basket of laundry and set it in the porch. She took the coffee pot from the stove, refilled Father’s cup and poured one for herself. After a short visit, Father grabbed his lunch box and left for his machine job at International Harvester.

As Yasu walked to campus, she thought about how her life had changed since the prison camps. The overcrowded barracks, the noisy mess hall, armed military guards and the stinky latrines flashed through her mind.


About the Author

Diane Dettmann

DIANE DETTMANN is the award-winning author of Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel, Yasu’s Quest: A Tale of Triumph and On Liberty’s Wing: A Post-WWII Novel the third book in her WWII series. She's also the author of Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss, and Renewal, and the co-author of Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants. She has also written articles for the national “Women’s Voices for Change” organization in New York City and the Open to Hope Grief Foundation in Palo Alto, California.

View the book interview I did with Barry ZeVan on Youtube at https://youtu.be/6eC9Xd3704A

Purchase autographed Copies Via Mail Order: Include your name, mailing address and the book titles with prices. MIRIAM 15.00; SNOW ANGELS 20.00.
INDIVIDUAL BOOKS IN WWII SERIES: COURAGEOUS FOOTSTEPS 20.00; YASU'S QUEST 20.00; ON LIBERTY'S WINGS 20.00. Save 10.00 when you PURCHASE ALL 3 BOOKS IN SERIES FOR 50.00. Checks to: Diane Dettmann. PO Box 36, Afton,MN 55001-0036 FREE SHIPPING

Book reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble are deeply appreciated! Diane Dettmann

Also by Diane Dettmann

Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants
Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow's Story of Love, Loss and Renewal
Courageous Footsteps
Yasu's Quest