December 2, 2011

Book Review: "Memoirs Of A Geisha" by Arthur Golden

November’s book club book was “Memories Of A Geisha” by Arthur Golden. Our dinner theme was Chinese food; one of my favorite foods, and our creative project was to decorate a fan. I dressed up as geisha minus the kimono for the book club and added a –san to everyone’s name, “Hello, Christi-san.” 

“Memoirs Of A Geisha” is an intriguing book from beginning to end. The beginning of the novel immediately sucks you in as Sayuri, a retired Japanese geisha, now living in New York, decides to tell her life story to a writer with the conditions that it doesn’t get published until she and the men mentioned in her biography are deceased. Which begs the questions, “Is she ashamed?” “Is she trying to hide something,” etc. Throughout the novel, Sayuri finds herself in numerous conflicts. I couldn’t put the book down, wanting to find out what happened next. “Memoirs Of A Geisha” will teach you about the kind of life a geisha lead during the Depression in the 1930’s and 1940’s in Japan. What I enjoyed the most about reading the book, other than learning some history, is that Sayuri was a very poetic character. She used lots of metaphors and similes. For example, “They just melt away like snowflakes” (page 141) as Sayuri refers not being able to retain information. Is the book based on true events or is it fiction? Read the book first; the author’s acknowledgment page at the end will relieve the answer.

As some of you may know, “Memoirs Of A Geisha” is also a movie. I watched the movie when it first came out in theaters so I vaguely remember it but it did help add a few faces to the characters in the novel. I didn’t want to watch the movie again until I finished the book. Plus, people always say the book is always better. I plan to borrow the movie from a friend soon and I can’t wait see the differences and similarities between the book and the movie.

Overall, I give “Memories Of A Geisha” by Arthur Golden four stars. I highly recommend book!

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