Part of Nisei Daughter's charm is the way Sone is able to weave entertaining anecdotes throughout her tale, a story which is essentially about what being Japanese American in the time around wartime America meant to her. Specifically, her position as a Nisei daughter -- child of first generation Japanese Americans -- is the focus of this tale.
The disappointing thing about this book is how obviously self-censored the book is. Sone very briefly reveals deeply felt rage and resentment at intervals during the book, only to shake them off and quickly change to a more light-hearted topic. Granted, there is an ironic tone to many of her comments and situations, and again granted, she is writing for a post-war audience that probably would not be receptive to outspoken criticism of the Internment, but still Sone seems to sugar coat the experience just a bit too much for my tastes. By the end, with the patriotic speeches that make it sound like the Internment was as much the fault of the Japanese Americans as it was the government, I was getting a little tired of Sone's carefree and apologetic tone, especially after the highly charged preface. In the book, Sone all but thanks the government for interning her and her family and giving them this character-building experience.
If you are truly interested in the internment and the impact it had on the Japanese Americans, try a book like Joy Kogawa's "Obasan." It's written about the Japanese Canadian experience, which was even more extreme than the Japanese American one. Kogawa also experienced internment first hand, but "Obasan" is written far enough after the fact that Kogawa is able to give the story more perspective and is able to put a more honest face on what really happened.
Nisei Daughter is not a bad book by any means ... but it did not live up to my expectations either. Sone's self-conscious editing makes the story seem much more like a novel than the autobiography that it supposedly is. I kept wishing she would drop the mask she was wearing and let the reader see what she was really thinking!