What a book to end the challenge on though! Once again, a book on Asian culture taught me so much I didn't know or that I misunderstood. Memoirs of a Geisha is fiction, but author Aurthur Golden thoroughly researched the facts by visiting Japan and spending time with a woman who lived as a Geisha in the 1960s and 70s.
I found myself struggling between thinking Geishas were kind of like slaves and yet, maybe it wasn't so bad? The women were professional entertainers in many forms: music, dance, song, conversation. But it seemed they often ended up as Geisha for sad/forced reasons and there were such expectations required of them, I found myself shaking my head as I read. This is all the case of the main character, Chiyo/Sayuri. Yet, without the option, where would many of them end up? Starving on the street or as prostitutes. Definitely a list of pros and cons, depending on which part of the process Sayuri was going through.
The book was enthralling, but I didn't realize how much I was pulling for Sayuri until closer to the end. She makes a bold move to change her life and when it didn't work out quite as she intended my heart sank. With the book so close to the end at that point, I hurriedly finished to see what happened to dear Sayuri.
I highly recommend this oldie, but goodie. Especially if you like to learn about different cultures and time periods.
Anyone see the movie? I was told it doesn't measure up...