The book club review:The Samurai’s Garden

Fifteen years in Ireland and despite my many efforts and attempts I never been able to join a book club.The problem with this country is that the book clubs are either an excuse to drink wine in a different house every month or,the real ones,are impenetrable lobbies. Exclusive clubs where only few very selected elements are admitted. Rules of admission are strict and unbreakable:once you succeed the initiation test,you then have to provided an impeccable family background and the prove that your are a direct descendant of some previous or current member.

That is why when my two bloggers friends Viola Bleau(IdeaBecomesWords)and Joseph Beeech(flowersinbloomnothingtoaddteatime)suggested to create our own book club, I immediately jumped in.

“The Samurai’s Garden” is the first book this little cyber book club decided to read on Joseph’s suggestion.
I am grateful for the choice and the chance to discover this excellent american writer :Gail Tsukiyama. My only experience with Japanese literature was limited to the books of Banana Yoshimoto that I used to be very fond of in my previous youth and to “Memoirs of a Geisha”,a book that I loved.While,Banana Yoshimoto is miles away in time and space, Arthur Golden and Gail Tsukiyama describe a very similar social,political and cultural reality.

The story starts at the eve of WWII .The young Stephen, son of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father,(exactly like the author),is sent to recover from tuberculosis in Japan where the father lives for business related reasons,while the rest of the family is in Hong Kong.Stephen will stay at the family beach house where the loyal Matsu will take care of him along with the house garden that has soon become his garden. Matsu is a samurai in the soul and his garden is its mirror.Reluctantly Matsu open his heart to Stephen and let him in in his private life that evolves around Sachi,his loved one afflicted by leprosy. Stephen starts to leave his emotional shell thanks to Matsu and Sachi and also starts to explore the the unknown world of female friendships. As more the garden take shapes and as more Stephen’s soul and mind take shape.A new vision of the world and human nature is forming in front of him.A new reality that doesn’t spare not even his own parents.

The writing is light and the words flow captivating in their simplicity. Since the beginning the modernity of the father and in his will to follow western world is openly highlighted.The difference from two cultures,Chinese and Japanese,is briefly and clearly exposed but,delicately penned down.

Chapter two is waiting and whoever wants to join is welcome.



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93 replies

  1. This is really cool that you started a book club. You made the book sound very interesting. Enjoy it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Buona sera Ortensia⚘⚘😉

    Liked by 3 people

  3. have you review it chapter by chapter? 😱👀 I love Japanese books and movies lol but I didn’t read much…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This sounds like an interesting book and I have just added it to the Wish List on my Kindle.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Book sounds fascinating. Hope the book club thrives. I wonder if all book clubs have that same pedigree requirement….

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Wow! I never knew being a part of a club could be so hard. You did a great thing by creating your own. By the way concept of book looks very interesting.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I’m not a great reader Ortensia, I don’t concentrate too well, get distracted easily, fall asleep while I’m reading, and I’m always busy here writing.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Sounds like a very fascinating book. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It sounds like a very interesting read!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Oh holy moly another one to add to the list, I love how this sounds.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Ortensia, I too spent a little time in Ireland.
    Wasn’t looking for a book club,
    but I found in Derry,
    they like to write on the
    house walls ?

    Liked by 3 people

  12. My compliments, very good idea: I did not know that in Ireland a book club was a dynastic question … dear greetings
    ortensia

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Intelligent review. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the story line.🌺
    I would love to join but I really can’t do a lot of book reading now, I have my infant to care for, classes and blogging too. I will be back for chapter 2. ♥️
    Please post it soon. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  15. A cyber book club sounds awesome! Wish I had more time to read so I could join you! Maybe next book. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Very nicely put, yet again. I love your words he. Very readable. Thank you! I found you though a link from plants and beyond, and glad I did.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Love your take on the book – isn’t it sublime?
    So pleased it provided some calm amongst the crazy few days you had. How funny that Travelling Husband did his best but was happy to hand the baton of housespouse back over to you!
    I LOVED Memoirs of a Geisha too – I read it probably fifteen years ago now and would happily read it again. Take care and I hope Easter Weekend is good for you xx

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Getting drunk with friends once a month doesn’t sound so bad lol, on a serious not tho way cool you found a group who sees the vision as clear as yours, happy reading 😊😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Very intersting and cultural view depicted in your writing. Keep up. Ready to join you in great work, by you.✌

    Liked by 2 people

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