Friday, June 21, 2013

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

No picture this time sorry, I forgot :(

Why did I read this book?

I heard beautiful things said about this book at Bookrageous. The premise was short and full of sentiment and it completely delivered.

What's the book about?

This is the story of Japanese women who came into the States right before WWII as "picture brides". They traveled the ocean to meet their husband, whom they only met before through pictures. They arrived with the American dream and nightmare at the same time. We hear multiple voices speaking as one and see how their life changed after that boat trip.

What was the thing I liked the most? 

Otsuka has a powerful way of transferring feelings by word. The happiness, the pride, the pain felt by all these women is palpable in the book. Sometimes the situations are so full of meaning that I had to put the book down and just breathe. It was a beautiful, complete research and it shows how deep into the subject she went. I also really liked the fact that the book was written in first person plural, which made all the different event merge into a big life full of everything there is to feel.

What about the main character?

As I mentioned is panoply of voices altogether. But I think the main character is being foreign. Not knowing what is ahead, adapting to a new culture, new way of living without losing our ways, what makes us who we are. 

Final thoughts

It's been quite a while since I read something this short yet so full of everything. It was beautiful to read, touching, eloquent, sweet and sad. I felt the need to share it with someone the moment I finished it, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to do so. It was a perfect transition to Gone Girl, since they do not resemble in any way. By reading this tiny book I can't help but to want to read Otsuka's debut novel When the Emperor Was Divine, and it has been added to my TBR pile. 

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