Thursday, October 6, 2011

How to Be an American Housewife, a review

I've found it! One of the few books I've read this year that I couldn't put down. After reading the first line, "I had always been a disobedient girl.", I was hooked. At first I was a bit hesitant to read How to Be an American Housewife. In fact, I kept putting it off. So much so that I told myself I had to read 100 pages a night for the next three nights. I finished the book in two nights and would have in one night had I not needed to get up for work the next morning.

How to Be an American Housewife follows the life of Shoko Morgan, an American house wife who met her husband in Japan and followed him to American in search for a better life. Told from two perspectives, that of Shoko and her daughter, Sue, the story depicts a rocky relationship between the two which is strengthened immensely when Sue travels to Japan for Shoko, who is unable to due to health reasons, to find and reconcile with her Uncle Taro. Sue sees firsthand the life her mother had and what she left behind in search of a better life. Since the story is loosely based on Margaret Dilloway's mother's personal story I found it particularly fun to guess what was true and what was fiction.

As I continued to read the book and learn the history of Japan, I constantly found myself looking up actual events online in order to have a better understanding of what happened. As C can attest, I’m not one to normally look up things I don’t know, so this would come a quite a reveal. But I couldn’t help it and once I'd figured out the factual nugget I just kept on reading.

Despite my initial hesitations about reading this book, one that I normally wouldn’t pull off the shelf at the library, my horizons have been broadened and now I have a whole new “you might also like” section to check out the next time I visit my neighborhood bookstore.

This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club, but the opinions expressed are my own.

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