Thursday, November 8, 2012

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Words to know for this post:
1. Geisha  a Japanese hostess: a Japanese woman educated to accompany men as a hostess, with skills such as dancing, conversation, and music.
2. Danna normally means husband, but in Memoirs of a Geisha it means patron.
So, this was my second time reading Memoirs of a Geisha. The first time reading it I remembered really enjoying learning about the life of a Geisha, something that I knew nothing about. However, this time around, I am in such a different place in my own life. I still found this book to be completely fascinating, but this time my heart went out to Geishas who have little say about their own lives; they must always work to please other people and hope that they are recognized and rescued. This is what Sayuri said about her life "Nowadays many people seem to believe their lives are a matter of choice, but in my day we viewed ourselves as pieces of clay that forever show the fingerprints of everyone who has touched them."

Sayuri, a Geisha and the main character in the book, finds herself suddenly in training to be a Geisha. She has no say in this; she just has to train to entertain men. She falls in love with one of the men whom she entertains. He is known as The Chairman, but she can not be with him unless he chooses to be with her. However, he can not marry her, because he is already married, but she can be his "kept" woman if that is what he decides.

After Sayuri's virginity is sold and many other events occur, Sayuri and the Chairman are finally able to be together, but it must be on his terms. Remember that he is already married, and Sayuri is the mistress.

In the end, Sayuri's life turns out fairly good, if being a "kept" woman is appealing to you. She finally gets satisfaction from being with the man whom she loves and who loves her back....

With this read of Memoirs of a Geisha, I found every page to beautifully written in a way that creates vivid pictures in the readers' mind and really explains the life of a Geisha with poignant details. But, I feel sad for Geishas who have very little say about their lives, what they like, or who they can love and marry.

This book is a page turner that I highly recommend....

Arthur Golden

My dear readers, I have started reading Cutting for Stones by Abraham Verghese. Why don't you pick up a copy or download it, and read it with me?

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