Memoirs of a Geisha

by Arthur Golden

Reviewed by Coral


Chiyo lives a quiet life, in a small fishing village, with her mother, father and older sister. That all changes, though, when her mother becomes very sick, and lies at death's door. Suddenly, she and her sister, Satsuo, find themselves torn both from their quiet lives, and from each other.

Now, Chiyo finds herself terrified and alone, on the path to becoming a Geisha, when all she wants is to find her sister and run away together. Then, one day, Chiyo meets a man called the Chairman, who will forever change the course of her life.

This is a really beautiful book, easy to read, and very enjoyable. The author gets a little too crazy with the metaphors near the end, which I found very annoying after a while. I also thought, weirdly enough, that the movie handled the ending better, with Sayuri/Chiyo's plea to Pumpkin feeling a little bit clunky in the book, almost telegraphing what was about to happen. In the movie, I found Pumpkin's scheme to be a shocking surprise.

Although, in both book and movie I found the Chairman's role in how the early years of Sayuri's life a little creepy. I mean, she was what, twelve? And he was forty-ish? Just a little creepy.

But, overall, still a good book.

Grade: B