“i cannot say that i really liked it.. it was just an OK read.. with a potential to be better.. i was expecting it to be more like Hotel on the corner.. but the characters were not endearing and rather dry. ”ruchidamani wrote this review Monday, November 29, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Loved it.”Michelle A wrote this review Wednesday, November 24, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Although it started out slowly, I was engrossed in the story of a Japanese woman , post World War II, and her attempts to fit into American society. The story of her Japanese relatives, and the descriptions of life in Japan, serve to add even more depth to the story.”Ellen F wrote this review Monday, November 8, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A book full of wonderful sensibilities. Problematically, even as I was reading I thought of complaints that many may have about this book, but none of them bothered me, anyway. The characters were wonderfully fleshed out, and as a first-generation immigrant from the age of 9, I truly believed in the character of Shoko as an immigrant wife (my mother, who immigrated with my father [also Chinese] to America over 12 years ago, still cannot speak English well either), and I truly believed in Sue/Suiko's story as the child born to an immigrant parent.
People would say that this book is sexist, promotes sexist values, and promotes Japanese nationalism which denies that the Rape of Nanking never occurred. Yes, there are characters of all shapes and sizes in this book. One really does deny the Rape of Nanking ever occurring. However, the book in no way promotes such values. It simply relays, in simple terms, what an Asian housewife was expected to know and obey and do. It also relays in simple terms, that some Japanese nationalists are still too ignorant or proud to admit past wrongs.
A wonderful read, and infinitely worth reading for any Asian-American. ”
“Pretty good.”Emma J wrote this review Tuesday, October 26, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Shoko, a Japanese woman, who married a GI during WWII, wants to see her estranged brother before her death. Shoko has a heart problem and wants the division between them to be dissolved. Because her doctor won’t allow her to travel, Shoko asks her daughter and granddaughter to make the trip. Shoko and her daughter Sue don’t relate well, but Sue does agree. Sue and her daughter go to Japan and meet her mother’s brother and other family. Sue discovers her mother’s history and secrets kept for many decades. Enjoyable but predictable.
“enchanting.....”Eileen N wrote this review Saturday, October 16, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Thoroughly enjoyable read”Betsey B wrote this review Sunday, October 3, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“During the American occupation of Japan, young Shoko marries an American GI. This work of fiction is the story of her struggles to become a "proper American housewife". Through the years, Shoko longs to return to Japan to reunite with her brother, who cut her off when she married. When an illness prevents Shoko from going, she sends her daughter and granddaughter in her stead.
Each chapter of the book is prefaced by advice from the handbook, How to Be an American Housewife that Shoko was given when she married. I particularly enjoyed the following as the subject came up in my family the night before I read it:
"Americans have several odd manners your should be aware of. When you eat with others, it is considered impolite to slurp your soup or noodles, though this improves the flavor. If you each noodles in company of an American, twirl them on your fork and eat as silently as you can."
Personally, I have found it impossible to eat long noodles with chopsticks without slurping.
“I loved the characters in this book and the way the author wove the stories of a mother and daughter together to form the novel. Reminscent of the Joy Luck Club, the tale of a young Japanese woman who marries an American soldier and works to build a new life in America was funny, sad and revealing. Shoko, is strong, determined and blunt and her daughter feels estranged and unfulfilled until her mother asks her to travel to Japan to meet with her family and try to heal old wounds. A charming story about discovery and identity.”Judie H wrote this review Wednesday, August 25, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No