So after putting down that monstrosity of a Stephen King book (Under the Dome, in case you all forgot) I moved on to one of my library book sale finds, a book I always had in mind to read but never did. I know this is an older book, and the movie was out in 2005 I believe…what can I say? The book was fascinating.
I found myself totally engrossed in this breathtaking novel. The description and fine detail that Arthur Golden produces in Memoirs of a Geisha centers one’s mind in the time and place presented. I fell in love with the main character, and of course, felt a bit of anger with her situation, but I stayed entranced and on edge with what would happen next. Throughout the story we learn of this main character’s love for one man who showed a kindness to her as a young girl…and we wait the entire book for that secret to come out, for that all-encompassing moment when he realizes it was her, and she shows him the handkerchief he’d given her, that she’d kept close to her for over 15 years…and unfortunately this is where the story fell flat for me. I guess it was within the last 20 pages or so….sad really. I waited for the moment, waited….waited….and the characters jumbled on with talk so much the moment just sort of came and went without this reader’s emotions charged. Perhaps this was the author’s intention, or I missed something in my eagerness….
The book also takes us a bit through the rough times the Japanese people faced during WW II, the lack of food and essentials for living, but I felt Golden kept the tragedy of such a time at a distance without much impact. The atom bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not even mentioned, and I find it quite hard to believe that no one in Kyoto would have even spoken about these disasters…Surely I wouldn’t have wanted this stunning tale to turn into a war story, but still, a little more would have made the time more haunting and substantial in a reader’s memory.
But all in all: Enthralling.