My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Imagine being sold as a Geisha as a very young girl…being seperated from your sick mom and your aging father, as well as your sister…being told who you will give your virginity too, having your schooling, work and money earned controlled by your new “mother” …This is some of what life for young Chiyo (Sayuri) looked like in Memoirs of a Geisha
This book was so beautifully written that I felt like Chiyo (Sayuri) was sitting right here retelling her life story to me as I read the book. Although it is a work of fiction, the book reads very much like the title implies, as a memoir. It gave such a great look into what the life of a Geisha was really like, the ups and the downs, as well as the beauty, the “family” and friendships that Geisha form. Although I don’t agree with every choice Chiyo (Sayuri) makes, I enjoyed that while her life was mostly controlled by others, she tried to find ways to still get what she wanted out of her life. The writing style of Arthur Golden was beautiful and honest, not just of the beautiful kimonos worn by the Geisha, but of the good and bad of the life of a Geisha. I really enjoyed how Golden ties in America at the end of the book. As if Memoirs of a Geisha doesn’t already make the reader think and feel along with Chiyo (Sayuri) and all of the characters in this story, this element just adds more food for thought.
I’ve had this book on my shelf for a long time and I’m so glad I finally picked it up and read it. Memoirs of a Geisha was such a beautifully told story that is one I will not soon forget.