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The Yokota Officers Club
The Yokota Officers Club


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Sarah Bird is the author of four previous novels: Virgin of the Rodeo, The Boyfriend School, Alamo House, and The Mommy Club. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, George, and son, Gabriel.

Sarah Bird’s 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 family’s 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 Japan’s 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:

"The miracle of The Yokota Officers Club is that it defies the laws of its own gravity. How can a story about dispossession and unspeakable loss, about fading national glory and family heartbreak, be so consistently--and authentically--hilarious? Sarah Bird's novel is an unforgettable melding of exuberant wit and deep compassion." --Stephen Harrigan

"Who else can write about dancing, music, JP-4 fuel, the military, and strawberries, make it funny, and also make it about matters of the heart? Only Sarah Bird. This is her best book yet, a big book that you'll want to read again as soon as you finish it the first time." -Clyde Edgerton

"The first half of this book will make you scream with laughter. The second half will tear your heart out. Very few novelists have gotten the military brat story right. Believe me, Sarah Bird gets it right. For the first time we have a writer as dead-on as Pat Conroy, but from the daughter's point of view. We are so very lucky that Sarah Bird has brought her immense talents to the telling of our story." -Mary Edwards Wertsch, author of Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress

"From the family car to forbidden airspace, this is a wonderful book. If you've ever been a sibling, a parent, a spy, a spouse, a flyer, a teenager, an entertainer, an outsider.... Or if you've ever felt trapped." --Roy Blount, Jr.

"Sweet, powerful, and terrifying, Sarah Bird's talent, always substantial, achieves in The Yokota Officers Club an even greater depth and force that is nothing less than wondrous. This book is a beautiful and breathtaking treasure, and I thank her for it." --Rick Bass

"Sarah Bird's world, viewed through the eyes and memories of a sassy Air Force brat, is our world: tender, hurtful, complex, unexplained. She captures the certainty we all have growing up, that we are the serpent who drove our parents out of the Eden of our childhood. Funny, wrenching, singularly moving, The Yokota Officers Club is a marvelous story. You'll want to share it with everyone who knew you when." -- Shelby Hearon

"A bittersweet and often funny novel about being different; about secrets; and about what happens when the luster fades. Sarah Bird is a wonderful writer." --Lee Smith