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The result is a novel with the broad social canvas (and love of coincidence) of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen's intense attention to the nuances of erotic maneuvering. Readers experience the entire life of a geisha, from her origins as an orphaned fishing-village girl in 1929 to her triumphant auction of her mizuage (virginity) for a record price as a teenager to her reminiscent old age as the distinguished mistress of the powerful patron of her dreams. We discover that a geisha is more analogous to a Western "trophy wife" than to a prostitute--and, as in Austen, flat-out prostitution and early death is a woman's alternative to the repressive, arcane system of courtship. In simple, elegant prose, Golden puts us right in the tearoom with the geisha; we are there as she gracefully fights for her life in a social situation where careers are made or destroyed by a witticism, a too-revealing (or not revealing enough) glimpse of flesh under the kimono, or a vicious rumor spread by a rival "as cruel as a spider."
Golden's web is finely woven, but his book has a serious flaw: the geisha's true romance rings hollow--the love of her life is a symbol, not a character. Her villainous geisha nemesis is sharply drawn, but she would be more so if we got a deeper peek into the cause of her motiveless malignity--the plight all geisha share. Still, Golden has won the triple crown of fiction: he has created a plausible female protagonist in a vivid, now-vanished world, and he gloriously captures Japanese culture by expressing his thoughts in authentic Eastern metaphors. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This was a beautifully written, moving story of a woman's experiences as a geisha. I found it haunting, fascinating, and depressing at times. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Katie M
If one wishes to get one self lost in beauty and mystery, glamour alongside misery, challenges and dreams long forgotten at the same time - that is the book that contains all that... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Angie
Are you wondering why an outstanding story could be rounded down to 4 stars? It was missing the soul of a woman or perhaps it could have reached deeper to find it.Published 3 days ago by Kindle Customer
I could not put this book down. Breathtaking and emotional as it takes you through insane twists and turns of life.Published 5 days ago by Shannon
This will give you insight to how other countries treat women.Published 9 days ago by sheila k moore
I picked this book for a summer read. Easy, beautiful, filled with an insight to the mysteries and exotic Geisha world of Japan. It was quick and a total vacation. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Kindle Customer