This week hasn't seen me on the internet much, but my audiobooks have been keeping me company.
Recently FinishedThe Buddha in the Attic, Julie Otsuka. Narrated by: Samantha Quan. This story traces the extraordinary lives a group of young women brought over from Japan to San Francisco as "picture brides" nearly a century ago. From their arduous journey by boat, to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and their struggles to master a new language and a new culture.
What a brilliant choice for the narration of this book to be in the first person plural! It really brought home the story and I felt it made the book much stronger than if it was told by just 1 person. It was a difficult, emotional story to tell indeed, and the author & narrator both did a fantastic job making me relate to the lives of the mail order Japanese brides who sailed to America shortly after 1907. Can you imagine going to a new country, thinking you're going to meet up with a handsome, young man who you've been exchanging letters with - and then meeting with the reality of an ugly, old man, not to mention a life of toiling in the fields under the hot sun or intense cold - and not even being able to tell your family back home the truth?! My heart so went out to these women! Switching to the perspective of the people in the towns in which the women resided, close to the end of the book, was another genius move in my opinion - it was definitely interesting to hear what the towns folk were thinking of these strange new women.
The only thing that was a negative for me, was that saying essentially the same thing many times got to be a bit repetitive towards the end. And, perhaps because I was listening to the audiobook version instead of having the physical book in my hands, I found the ending was a bit abrupt. I was just settling in, wondering what the Japanese women would say of life in the detention centers ... when I heard, The END. Grrr - I guess that means it was a good book, since I was looking forward to more, and disappointed when I didn't get it. (Amazon| Goodreads)
Currently Listening To
The Replacement, Brenna Yovanoff
Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins
Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world. (Amazon| Goodreads)
- Inspired by Sound Bytes @ Devourer of Books. Have you read any of these books? What did you think?