Memoirs of a Geisha

September 24, 2008
By Ashley Simon, Fowler, MI

Have you ever felt as if you were one of the characters inside a book you were reading? Memoirs of a Geisha is so detailed and accurate that readers may actually feel as if they are living the life of the main character, Sayuri. Arthur Golden did a fantastic job writing this novel from the real life experiences of one of Japan's most famous Geisha.
In the book, twelve-year-old Chiyo and her sister are taken from their home in a small fish town when their mother grows fatally ill. Mr. Tanaka, a rich businessman who often visits their little town, is very intrigued with Chiyo's beauty and unusual blue eyes. He convinces their father they will live a better life with him and takes the sisters faraway to the large city of Kyoto.
Once in Kyoto the girls are separated and Chiyo is taken to a Geisha district called Gion where hundreds of young girls learn to perform the tasks of entertaining men in teahouses and the roles of a Geisha. Many people think a Geisha is simply a prostitute, but in this book you will see a whole different angle to the Geisha life. This book describes the hardships and victories Chiyo had to endure while becoming one of the most famous Geisha in history.
After becoming a Geisha, her name is changed to Sayuri, and she has to learn to overcome many unpredictable events and even live through World War II.
This book is a very interesting read and is perfect for teens and adults who like reading dramatic stories with a historical backdrop. There is never a boring moment while reading this book, and it is hard to put down.
On the downside, there are a few adult references, and some inappropriate language. These parts may be too detailed for some people. Overall, I thought it was an excellent book and would highly recommend it.

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