When you read a good book, it’s like you are living in two different worlds. You live in the world that surrounds you in your everyday life, and you live in the one in your head, whether you have that book in your hands or daydreaming about it.
I just finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.
I enjoyed reading this book, but it wasn’t anywhere near a favorite. I found it to be too long for the story. It is very patient and thoughtful, and I love the detail, but I didn’t feel there was enough story to hold it together. Sayuri was right in that her person had a lot of water, because she truly flowed through life, never really taking any steps to better herself, for herself. And although this was a sign of the times, and a cultural thing, it really frustrated me. The only time she would ever take decisive action was when she wanted to hurt someone. Like Nobu, I too was dissapointed in Sayuri. She seemed to me to be a very plain girl whose most remarkable feature – that of her eyes – was pretty much her saving grace. I expected more cleverness out of her, but I saw none. In the end, I felt a little cheated because I wanted her to be a great woman, but she didn’t seem to me to be one.
And can I just say, how odd it is to me that having a mistress that you spend most of your time with is perfectly acceptable? One of the wives even sent a tip to the geisha through another one when she spent the night with her husband after a party they had. What seems to me to be an even stranger thing is how friendship is a more sacred bond than marriage seemed to be. Or just, perhaps a different sort of sacred. It’s just a completely different sort of life and to say that I know it after reading one book by a man that didn’t live through it would be silly. But it still makes one think.
I am still glad that I read the book, and look forward to discussing it with the book club later this month. I can’t believe we let it die last year. This month’s looks like it will be pretty big though.