I've always wanted to be a member of a book club but never seem to have the time to commit to one, so when I discovered the BritMums book club it was a no brainer for me to sign up. It is much easier to review a book from the comfort of your own sofa in your pj's. So here is my first (hopefully of many) review.
Between the wars a group of young, non-English-speaking Japanese women travelled by boat to America. They were picture brides, clutching photos of husbands-to-be whom they had yet to meet. Julie Otsuka tells their extraordinary, heartrending story in this spellbinding and poetic account of strangers lost and alone in a new and deeply foreign land.
Firstly this is probably not a book I would usually buy, I'm not usually a short story kind of girl. Despite being a short story it has a BIG tale to tell.
Otsuka writes the story beautifully, the book is written like poetry and has a haunting quality to it. I could have easily read it very quickly but chose to keep putting it down and coming back to it as I didn't want it to be over before I'd even begun it. The way the book is written means there isn't a single stand out character, instead it is a story of many lives told alongside each other with very little focus on any, yet somehow Otsuka makes you feel like you know the characters and genuinely feel attached and connected to them, very clever for a book with no character focus. Most aspects of life for these ladies is covered within this short story and the trials they faced to survive and thrive in a society they were completely new to. It makes for an interesting read and The Buddha in the Attic is one of those books that left me feeling genuinely grateful to live in the society I do, and genuinely lucky I have never had to experience poverty or testing times like those during, between and after our World Wars.
Buddha in the Attic most definitely packs a punch and left me wanting to find out more about the history of the Japanese during and after the Second World War, I really enjoyed this book and would give it a good 4 out of 5.
As a strong believer of passing on books I am giving my copy of Julie Otsuka's The Buddha in the Attic away. If you would like me to send you my used and therefore slightly worn copy leave a comment below including how you would like to be contacted eg Twitter, Facebook, email and I will chose a random winner. Closing date for entries will be Sunday 15th September at midnight. Good luck!
*Disclaimer* As a member of the BritMums book club I was very kindly sent a free copy of Buddha in the Attic to review by Penguin. Despite this all opinions and thoughts are honest and my own.