Sarah Birds gutsy, sharp, and touching new novel opens at full speed.Bernadette Bernie Root, military brat, speaks. She has never really noticed what a peculiar bunch of nomads her eight-member Air Force family is (with the exception of her Post Princess sister, Kit), until the summer after her first year of college when she joins them at their new assignment: Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.Just as Okinawa turns out to be a sorry version of the Japanese paradise Bernie knew in her childhood at Yokota Air Base, her family, especially her once-beautiful mother, Moe, and her former spy-pilot father, Mace, seems to have been in decline since those glory days of the American Raj. Days when her mother was happy and their best friend, Fumiko, now lost to them, was the familys maid. The worst part of Okinawa for Bernie, though, is realizing how perfectly she fits with her oddball family and how badly she needs to get out.So when a dance contest first prize, a trip to Japan,offers a chance to escape, she takes it, playing second banana to a third-rate comedian on a tour of Japans military bases. At their grand finale at the Yokota Officers Club, Fumiko finally reappears, and Bernie discovers the terrible price that is paid when the secrets nations hide end up buried within families.A brilliantly appealing novel whose energy, wit, and feeling have won for it (see back of the jacket) extraordinary advance praise.From the Hardcover edition.