But after Sam strikes out for California, where he meets Keiko, the beautiful young woman destined to be the love of his life, he faces crushing disappointment---Keiko's parents take her back to Japan, forcing Keiko to endure their attempts to arrange her marriage. It is a trial complicated by how the Japanese perceive her---as too Americanized to be a proper Japanese wife and mother---and its pain is compounded by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which ignites the war that instantly taints Sam, Keiko, and their friends and family as enemies of the state.
Sam himself is most caught between cultures when, impressed by his knowledge of Japanese, the U.S. Army drafts and then promotes Sam, sending him on a secret mission into a wartime world of madness where he faces the very real risk of encountering his own brother in combat.
From the tragedies of the camps through to the bombing of Hiroshima, where Sam's mother and siblings live, Sam's very identity both puts his life at risk and provides the only reserve from which he can pull to survive. In this beautifully written historical epic about a boy in search of manhood, a girl in search of truth, and two peoples divided by war, Sam must draw upon his training, his past, and everything he has learned if he's ever to span his two cultures and see Keiko, or his family, again.
James Michael Pratt's Ticket Home takes readers on a journey back to the youthful days of innocence, to the loss of innocence, and to the power of love that can salvage dreams.