The beginning exposition of a novel comprises the early pages in which readers are introduced to the main characters and the setting (time/place) that represents "normal" for them. Then, very early on in the story, something happens that introduces a conflict. This is called the inciting incident, and it begins the rising action of the plot.
In Journey to Topaz, the story begins with Yuki's family at their home in Berkeley, California, at the beginning of December. Readers get a feeling for the contented family consisting of Yuki, her brother Ken, and her parents. Although they are of Japanese heritage, they live the life of typical Americans of their time. But that changes when they hear the news of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Their "normal" is about to change dramatically.
The conflict is introduced when men from the FBI come to the Sakane home and take Mr. Sakane away to be questioned. The US government becomes the antagonist of the family—that is, they oppose the goals of Yuki...
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