Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden

GeishaThere are no missteps in this magnificent book about a girl from a fishing village sold as a geisha in Japan in the 1920’s. The research is so meticulous and the sense of place so real, the reader feels a part of the narrative right from the very first page. Chiyo is 9-years-old when placed in a Kyoto geisha house. There, she is subjected to cruel treatment from the owners and the head geisha, Hatsumomo, who is jealous of her beauty. Taken under the wing of Hatsumomo’s rival, Mameha, Chiyo becomes the geisha Sayuri exquisitely trained in all the arts: dance, music, kimono, makeup, hair and the pouring of sake. She becomes part of a world where a girl’s virginity is sold to the highest bidder, and women are trained to beguile powerful men.  As a renowned geisha, she enters a society of wealth, privilege and political intrigue.  But World War II changes everything in Japan, and Sayuri’s life as a geisha is forever altered as a result.

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