So back in 2005, I read this book because of the movie. I remember back then that I absolutely loved this book because not only did it show a side of Japanese culture, but it was also a well-told love story. I really want to know what the fourteen-year-old me was thinking, because this time around I literally want to claw my eyes out as I was reading this book.
This book tells the story of Chiyo – Sayuri as she is called later in the book – as she struggles through her life and tries to become a geisha. At a young age she is sold to an okiya by her father and separated from her sister. Thrown into this new world, she is shocked to find that one of the mistresses of the house – Hatsumomo – hates her because she thinks that one day she will be her largest rival. In fact, this geisha does everything in her power to make sure that Chiyo never becomes a geisha.
Much to her dismay, Chiyo does in fact become a geisha, a very successful one at that, and kicks Hatsumomo out of the house for everything that she has done. But the reason that Chiyo becomes a geisha is because of a man named the Chairman who she runs into one day when she was down on her luck and set in being a maid for the rest of her life. He shows her a bit of kindness, and as it turns out gets her help from one of the most successful geisha of all time.
It’s a beautiful story, really, but the details and side stories are just overdone. Seriously a chapter that could have ended in five pages went on for fifteen because of either descriptions of unnecessary items or a side story that was just filler. Also Chiyo is quite gullible. At the beginning when she tries to run away and Hatsumomo tries to help her escape she forgets the one lesson that Auntie taught her. Hatsumomo would never help her, ever. Little Miss Stupid indeed.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. The story is good, but there was just too much detail that wasn’t really needed.
Bookshelf worthy? Anyone want my copy?