by Arthur Golden
Memoirs of a Geisha follows nine-year-old Chiyo as she begins a new life and is taken from her small fishing village in Yoroido, Japan by a businessman, Mr. Tanaka. Because her mother is sick, and her father cannot raise her and her sister alone, Chiyo believes that she is being adopted by a wealthy family. However, Chiyo eventually ends up in Kyoto, far away from her family and with an unexpected new family. She is sold to a Geisha house, forced to be a maid until the house’s ruling hierarchy determines if she is ready to become a Geisha herself. After much training, Chiyo becomes a Geisha and goes by the name Sayuri. Sayuri has incredible influence and beauty and begins her new life as one of the most powerful Geisha in Japan overcoming obstacles and learning valuable lessons along the way.
All in all, this novel was filled with drama and constant surprises. I felt connected to Chiyo as her character was very realistic and described so vividly. By reading this novel, I got an insight into the world of Geisha in Japan, which I had no knowledge of prior to reading this novel. I was intrigued and fascinated by reading about the life of Geisha and Japanese culture. The overall storyline was griping and truly fascinating. My only critique would be that at some parts of the novel, I felt that some details could have been left out and some sections dragged on for too long. But overall, Memoirs of a Geisha is truly a beautiful and captivating novel that I enjoyed reading very much.