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Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Review by Caleyna

This novel is a fascinating read, peeking into the life of a mysterous geisha (what I assumed was a prostitute until I read this book). The storyline traces the life of the geisha from the time she is nine until she is an old woman. The majority of the time is spent telling about the time leading up to her becoming a full-fledged geisha.

Golden is almost poetic in places--the main character often speaks in similes and metaphors (a trait that shows intelligence in the eyes of many psychologists). I can hardly believe that a man wrote such an in-depth psychological memoir of a woman, but admit he did so very well.

The novel flows along, like water through a stream, taking the reader on an unbelievable journey (what would you do if you were basically sold into slavery?). The end is powerful and makes you question whether or not you can actully respect the main character, whom you will have undoubtedly come to like and understand. My heart just about dropped out of my chest when I was waiting for her to make the most important choice of her life.

Everyone should read this book. Not only does it tell a great story of a woman, it also lets Americans see another side of Japanese culture.


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