thoughts and things

Buddha in the Attic: Britmums Book Club Review


Buddha in the Attic is a brilliant story of how Japanese Women were sent over to the USA as mail order brides for Japanese Men living and working in America. The story documents their journey from Japan to America, and what their life was like once they got there. It then covers the time leading up to the second world war, and how the Japanese were treated in America as the War went on.

I loved this book. I loved the way it was written, in the third person, a collective of people together telling their story. It pulled you into the story and made you want to know more, especially when there was only little tidbits of stories from all the women. Their hopes and dreams for the future, and their eventual disappointment at what they had come to, breaks your heart a little bit as you read.

The book is written in such as poetic, descriptive way, the words flow along the page, and it is a true delight to read. It is a very clever concept, and the author has done so well to weave all these stories into one voice, and write it in this collective way. I was very impressed with the structure and the form of the writing.

I find the ending haunting, mystical, and I enjoyed hearing things from the other perspective. I would have loved to have had the story continue to find out what happened next, but I believe that the author’s other book focuses on this more, and so I shall be reading it! I enjoyed the fact that this book ends in this way – it felt abrupt, incomplete, and you are expecting the story to continue a little, but on reflection, this is exactly how the Japanese must have felt, and how it must have looked to their neighbours – an abrupt end to their lives living in those towns.

This book is historical, biographical and above all a really interesting read. I would recommend you give this a read, especially as it is very easy to read and a quick read too.

I genuinely did not realise what happened to the Japanese in America during the war, and I was really surprised and shocked at their treatment. This book gave me a glimpse into a part of history I had not really considered before, and it was engrossing. You felt akin to these women, you felt their embarrassment, sadness, pain. It was such a good read and I finished it very quickly indeed.

I have written this review as part of the Britmums Book Club, and was lucky enough to be one of the first 100 to sign up to get the book sent to me.

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