a Midwest high school librarian takes on YA and adult books
Monday, April 23, 2012
Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka, Read by Carrington MacDuffie and Samantha Quan
Oddly written, but I still wanted to hear how it ended. This novel loosely tells us what happened to Japanese women who came to America to be brides. We don't get to know any of the characters personally--rather their story is told in 3rd person. For example, "One is married to a short man who farms. One is married to a thin man who works in a laundry." Those aren't the exact words she used, but the entire book is written in that format. Of course, the women are told their lives in America will be dreamy, but most of them end up working in the fields of California and married to old men who look nothing like their picture. Eventually the stories focus on their children who are trying to improve their lifestyles, but the tale ends with the Japanese being taken to camps. We never hear what life was like in the camp--just what the locals remember of when the Japanese Americans disappeared. Interesting way to tell a story, but I would have preferred following the lives of a few women.