I read pretty much any chance I get. I mostly read YA books but some adult ones as well. To me all books are precious gems and are meant to be treasured.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden:

Release Date: October 2006
Publisher: Vintage Books
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 428
Type: Paperback
Source: Bought from Barnes & Noble

 We follow Sayuri from her childhood in an impoverished fishing village, where in 1929, she is sold to a representative of a geisha house, who is drawn by the child's unusual blue-green eyes. From there she is taken to Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto. She is nine years old.

In the years that follow, as she works to pay back the price of her purchase, Sayuri will be schooled in music and dance, learn to apply the geisha's elaborate makeup, wear elaborate kimonos, and care for a coiffure so fragile that it requires a special pillow. She will also acquire a magnanimous tutor and a venomous rival.

Surviving the intrigues of her trade and the upheavals of war, the resourceful Sayuri is a romantic heroine on the order of Jane Eyre and Scarlett O’Hara.

-- Barnes & Noble Description

It's really very hard to put how awesome this book is into words. It is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of a girl named Chiyo, and how blink of the eye moments can change your life forever. Chiyo's world is turned upside down once her mother becomes very ill. She is sold away at age nine, along with her sister Satsu. Chiyo ends up in a okiya ( a geisha boarding house), and her sister's fate is a lot darker. Chiyo goes through many obstacles and struggles in order to become a Geisha. Including numerous attempts, by her rival Hatsumomo, to sabotage her.

There are many trials and tribulations that Chiyo goes through to survive the very complex world of the Geisha's. She survives all of them with courage, and a strong will to survive. With the help of a few people, her mentor, Mameha; her love, The Chairman; and her fellow geisha in training, Pumpkin, and a few others Chiyo's name is changed to Sayuri, and she becomes one of the most famous Geisha's of her time.

I love Sayuri. She is so strong, and despite everything she goes through, she holds on to love and hope.
Memoirs of a Geisha is a breathtakingly, emotional read, and has extremely beautiful imagery. This book is a piece of art in itself, and should be treasured. The word Geisha itself means artist. The Geisha's are so beautiful. They are truly walking, dedicated pieces of art, and their world is mesmerizing. I would love to dress up in a beautiful kimono and wear the makeup myself. However, not just anyone can be a Geisha it takes much dedication and skill.

If you enjoyed the book you should watch the movie it is very good. It stays close to the book, and the scenes are amazing. If you have not read this book you should. It is truly an epic read. I loved both the book and the movie very much.

Overall Rating: A++  ( I would add more pluses but you get the point )

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book. It is accually the last sentence of the book.

"But now I know that our world is no more permanent than a wave rising on the ocean. Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all to soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper, "


  1. My friends have reccomended this book to me, but I never really thought of picking it up. However, after reading your review I'm totally intrigued! -adds to GoodReads- :D

  2. Beautiful review Laura! I love when a movie really keeps in line with the book and brings everything you loved about the story itself to life:) This sounds like a fascinating book, I'll have to add it to my list!

  3. I ADORED this book too! It's one of those reads which you can totally immerse yourself in until you feel absorbed into another culture. Glad you loved it too!

  4. Lovely-lovely review Laura...:) I read this years ago and remember it being soooo sad, I know I cried a few times. The movie was beautifully done, I agree a must see...

  5. This is one of my favorite books! I always recommend it to readers who "want a good book" never fails to impress. So happy to see that you enjoyed it!

  6. This is one that I obviously have heard about but I guess I never gave any serious thought to reading. I'm not sure why not though! It sounds really amazing. I can probably pick it up for cheap as well.

    Thanks for your awesome comments on my blog!

  7. I loved this book, i read it last year i believe and it was nothing like i thought it was going to be, but in a good way. it was outstanding!!

  8. I loved this book too. You might also like The Commoner by Jonathan Burnham Schwarz (author's name may be a bit off). It's a fictionalized tale of the first commoner empress of Japan. I red Memoirs of a Geisha years ago and read The Red Tent around the same time. They're completely different, but if you like one, I bet you'd like the other.

  9. This is probably in my top 5 books of all time. I absolutely loved it. Great review!