Goodreads Rating: 4.06 / 5 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publishing Date: September 23, 1997 (first published)
A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.
In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable.
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I remember watching the film when I was in my 2nd or 3rd year high school for a movie review. I barely remember what happened and decided to finally pick the book as it sits on my shelf for more than 3 years.
I didn’t expect to like it because historical fiction isn’t my usual kind of read and I find it refreshing. The premise of this book is compelling and beautiful. I was hooked from the very beginning and I can’t seem to stop. The story tells about the journey of Nitta Sayuri/Chiyo being a Geisha. She came from a small town in Japan and came from a less fortunate family. Her mother became sick and her father is too old to sustain her and her sister, Satsu. They were offered to a business man and left with no choice but to take the sisters in Kyoto where they must find a great opportunity of being a Geisha/ an entertainer.
What Chiyo have been through during the course of her training to be a Geisha is really difficult and harsh. Hatsumomo, a Geisha in okiya, put her through hell because she was a failed Geisha and was insecure with Chiyo’s beauty. After all the efforts, she survived. Chiyo was rewarded with many things and surpassed her. Thanks to Mameha for training her to be a refined, beautiful and well-mannered woman.
Getting to know the Japanese culture is pretty challenging but I love how Arthur Golden thoroughly explained such details and it kept me fascinated. It was a nice historical fiction to explore to. The mizuage (a deflowering ceremony) quite shocked me in some ways. It was unbelievable. There is a little love story in this book which I enjoyed as well.
Overall, it’s a great historical fiction. It’s nice to explore something different from my tastes.