Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Review: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden:
Release Date: October 2006
Publisher: Vintage Books
Reading Level: Young Adult
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, "