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Reviewed by Charity Tober for Readers' Favorite
Rainbow Gardens by James Malone follows a Japanese-American immigrant named Harry Shikita during the turmoil-filled times surrounding the WWII era. As an immigrant, Harry faces numerous challenges such as fitting in, enduring racial discrimination, as well as attempting to make his business ‘Rainbow Gardens’ (a roadside resort in Minnesota) a success. And if that’s not enough, there is also a large group of trolls – yes, real trolls that turn into stone during the day – who have been secretly living among humans. The trolls are descendants of Cain (from the Bible) and have continually sought to find forgiveness for past hereditary sins. The trolls seek a redeemer to save them, someone to perform a selfless act and make them one again with the “sons of Adam” (humans) so they can be reunited with God. Now they believe they have finally found just the savior to do that…none other than Harry Shikita!
Rainbow Gardens by James Malone is an intriguing and out-of-the ordinary historical fantasy, religious fiction story. It is a lengthy (700+ pages) and unique read. The book rotates between different perspectives, mainly Harry’s and the trolls', and is rich in actual historical events. The author includes a convenient glossary section in the front of the book listing the English meaning of Japanese words used throughout the book. However, as a reader (especially when reading on the eBook version on a tablet) I found it tiresome to keep flipping back to the dictionary whenever a Japanese word was used in the story (and there were quite a few). This book would suit most fans of historical and religious fiction genres.