I watched him walk away with sickness in my heart – though it was a pleasing kind of sickness, if such a thing exists. I mean to say that if you have experienced an evening more exciting than any in your life, you’re sad to see it end; yet you still feel grateful that it happened.
I cannot even begin to explain how much I loved this book. I felt my presence just there, walking with Sayuri-san and feeling every bit of her sorrow and happiness.
It taught me not just about the Japanese tradition but also about the sufferings people face in this world. No matter how varied the situation is, everyone faces their own troubles.
From the very start, the book had a very different impact on me. It was not at all a boring autobiography but a more detailed and personal book of one. The book touched me in a lot of ways.
I remember the time when I used to look at those Japanese women on television who used to dress up in their traditional kimono with their weird white makeup and think this is another tradition of theirs where the women sing and dance and tell us about their culture. I never knew how much story lay behind all that. I never even struggled to know about it. Now that I know that how much struggle they have to go through to become that artisan to play their shamisen and dance in their elegant way, in front of so many people who still think (like I did) that it is some easy job to be squealing around like a kitten. I have a new found respect for those women.
Though I don’t accept the ways the girls were brought up and the tradition was carried on, just because they did not have a choice, I liked the book as much as anyone ever could.
Now, about the characters, I loved Chiyo Chan a lot from the very start but just couldn’t stop myself from feeling a little exhaustion from her constant mistakes but hey, we are humans. We make mistakes. We are supposed to.
I also loved Pumpkin from the beginning and loved her throughout the book, even when she took her revenge against Sayuri because I found it just and right because anybody in her situation, considering she did not know what the situation was, what Sayuri was facing and that she had no choice but to accept her fate no matter who presented it in front of her (Mother or Mameha).
Although, I hated the character Hatsumomo but I started to miss her presence in the book later on just as much as Sayuri did.
I adored Mameha a lot, for her described elegance, her maturity, her way of thinking, determination, dedication and most of all, her intelligence.
Throughout the book, one character I couldn’t stop feeling bad for was Nobu. And the fact that the characters were all real people once, hurts me even more when I think about Nobu-san and how much hurt he had to face.
This book was outstanding and I will just stop the review here because it doesn’t really need a review. I rate it 5 stars, without any efforts.