Hello and welcome to another blog post!
It has been such a long time since I posted this. Lets try getting back into the flow…
The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns
You will not believe how much I cried towards the end of this book. I mean the whole book was a sobfest for me but that last part broke me.
This book follows two timelines. The first is Japan 1957, we follow Naoko a 17 years old Japanese girl from a prominent family who has been arranged to marry the son of her father’s business partner. However, she falls in love with an American Sailor, Hajime. Her family are against this not only because they see the soldiers as the enemy occupying their land but that she would be tainted by her association with him.
She finds out that she is pregnant and she decides to get married to the Hajime without her family there. She seems to have gotten her mother’s blessing after she found out that she was pregnant. Something happens and Hajime is called back on the ship and would not be around for some time. During the time he is gone, Naoko finds herself in an oppressive situation. Her mother died and her family send her to a facility that helps to quiet the disgrace caused by daughters (Trying to avoid spoilers).
In the present day, America, we follow Tori who has been beside her father till his death. During the time she finds a letter that reveals she has a sister that her father abandoned in Japan. After his death, she decides to go find her sister. But when she gets to Japan she is left tying a scarf on a statue.
I tell you this book is intense. It was painful to read. Naoko felt so real that the pain she experienced got me so mad. She was caught between culture and love and no one should ever really have to sacrifice family for love.
Highly recommend this book!
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars
Luster by Raven Leilani
Forgive me but this book confuses me. Not because the concepts explored in the book is complicated, it is just that I don’t know why people love it so much.
We follow Edie, a black woman who is barely holding onto her job in an all-white office when another person of colour joins are at the office. There is this tokenism culture that the book explores a bit of which is amazing. Edie is sleeping with all kinds of men, those at work and others out of work (I am not one to slut-shame, get the d**k). However, she starts dating Eric, a white middle-aged man who is married. He is the typical person that enjoys the white man privilege. Eric and his wife have agreed to a sort of open marriage (I was so confused), she stipulates the time that Eric and Edie can meet and how long they can spend together. The whole thing is a mess.
Eric and his wife have adopted a black daughter whose hair they do not know how to make. This is how Edie comes into the family and even starts living with them. They soon form some kind of unconventional family and things almost seemed to be going too well. Then issues of race and racial violence rear their heads, this book just explores the intersectionality of race and relationships.
I am confused as to why people rave about this book. I couldn’t stop thinking that Edie show breaks it off with Eric and just move on. Focus on your painting and your life. This is just my opinion, I can’t understand single women’s fascination with married me.
I gave this book 3.9 out of 5 stars
I Have The Right To Destroy Myself by Young-Ha Kim
I will be honest with you, I don’t know what to rate this book. It is either a 1 star or 5 stars (Will settle on 3 stars). There is something so disgustingly enjoyable about this book. In a book that highlights suicide and death, it almost makes justifications and desirability of difficult situations.
As someone who to some extent have a good knowledge of Korean popular cultures such as their food, music and dramas. The suicide rate in Korea is one of the highest in the world, so it was not surprising to read this book from the point of view of someone who encourages people to die.
As he said, he does not kill them himself, he does not necessarily put the knife in their hands, he almost wants us to believe that he gave these people courage in the last days of their lives.
Two themes take precedence in Judith, Evian, Mimi; desire and absurd fulfillment. He writes about his experience with these people, where he met them, how he vetted their desire and he helped them achieve their aim. He believes that life is not worth living and that he is doing a service to the world and the people he has helped but yet he has not helped himself.
I quote “There are two kinds of people. Those who can kill and those who can’t. The second kind is worse. – People who can’t kill can’t ever truly love”. He is the worse kind of person, he cannot love, he has in his own way been a thief, stealing his victim’s hopes and dreams.
This book does not necessarily encourage murder or suicide as people seem to think. It just draws out morbid desires, imprisoned deep in the unconscious.
I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars
Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau
Honestly, I think with this book, I got exactly what I was hoping for. It contains short but hard-hitting poems that really reminders you of a lot of things you already know and practice. And a gentle nudge to start practising them if you haven’t already. Each poem follows a description of a bone in the human body. As someone with an Anatomy degree, it was quite interesting to read the authors take on the strength and importance of these small bones. It relates to the poems that cover love, passion, death, sadness, gender and vulnerability.
Whilst a lot of the concepts presented in this collection is not new. It holds its importance by serving as a reminder to treat yourself and others around you with love.
I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars
Thanks for reading