Thursday, October 6, 2011

BlogHer Book Club: How To Be An American Housewife

This book brought back so many memories from the year I spent living in Tokyo that it was hard to put down. In a story inspired by her mother, Margaret Dilloway tells a tale about a Japanese woman (Shoko) who marries an American man and moves to the US. The story begins right before she meets her future husband and follows her life through to her becoming a grandmother. The author does a fantastic job of giving the reader a peak into Japanese customs, that while not mainstream in the US, are very common in the hometown of the protagonist. The second part of the book is written from the American daughter's perspective and thus introduces a whole new set of views on the different rituals and customs coming from someone of blended cultures.

Perhaps my favorite part of the book are little excerpts included at the beginning of each chapter that the author tells us are taken from a book handed to Japanese women when they get married to American men. And my least favorite part was reading about how rude people were to Shoko because her English wasn't perfect and her customs were different. As a fellow expatriate and mom, it hurt my heart to read of others secluding her.

I would recommend this book to moms, expatriates, or anyone wanting to learn about a different culture. I could relate to Shoko on many things but also learned a lot about what life was like for her. I find it fascinating to learn about how others deal with the ordeals life presents them with at a given point in their life. It's like history class made fun!

Please join me at the BlogHer Book Club page HERE for more discussions about this book.

This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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