Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
First off, I would like to point out that the point of view of this novel is that of a woman, yet the novel is written by a man. A man! I was only reminded of this when I closed the book and saw the name on the cover, which is a testament to both Arthur Golden’s skill in writing and a truly enthralling story line.
Mr. Golden does an excellent job of taking you through the life of a young girl as she goes from her “tipsy house” to the city of Gion to become a geisha. The language in the beginning is simple, like that of a child, with phrases like “tipsy house” to describe surroundings. As the narrator matures, so does the language and phrasing. There is a subtley to the language as well, where intimacies are alluded to rather than fully described, leaving you to your imagination while being enthralled with the story.
The imagery is wonderful. You feel like you are in Gion and shake your head for a moment and look at your surroundings when you take your eyes from the page. The room in which you are in does not compare to the descriptions of Gion, the people, the buildings and the interactions between the characters. There are those Asian tidbits of wisdom as well, which strike that fine line between philosophical, sensible and sometimes commical.
An excellent read. Perfect escapism. Brain candy.