Friday, November 11, 2005

Memoirs of a Geisha

Golden transports the reader back to the 20’s to a time when the Japanese culture revered the women called Geisha. These are the memoirs of on such geisha Nitta Sayuri. These memoirs follow Sayuri from her sad youth were she is ripped away from her fracturing family to her being the proprietor of a tea house in New York in old age.

Sayuri, Chiyo in her youth, is adopted as her mother is on her death bed. She is sold to the Nitta Okiya, where she will one day train to be a geisha. Her sister is separated from her and sold into the red-light district on the other side of town. Chiyo must persevere the fracturing of her family, seemingly insurmountable debt to the okiya, and the evil intentions of a geisha named Hatsumomo. With the help of a kind gesture, Chiyo finds the strength and courage to continue the path of being the geisha Sayuri. With the help of Mameha, Sayuri is able to do so successfully and to rid herself of Hatsumomo.

This is a great book that should help break the stereotypes that geisha were prostitutes. Not to say that they did not have sex. This book has enough sexual content that I would not recommend this book for children or teens. It is a great story and ultimately a love story. Golden has Sayuri describe things in such a poetic manner that you cannot help falling in love with her. The reader feels her every disappointment and revels in her every victory. Golden develops the plot in such a way that causes the reader to second guess Sayuri and for her to prove everyone wrong.

This is a great novel that I would suggest to any adult. Contains sexual content.

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