Tsukiyama's classic story of love, sacrifice, and devotion. On the eve of World War II, a young Chinese man is sent to his family's summer home in ...Show synopsisTsukiyama's classic story of love, sacrifice, and devotion. On the eve of World War II, a young Chinese man is sent to his family's summer home in Japan to recover from tuberculosis. He will rest, swim in the salubrious sea, and paint in the brilliant shoreside light. But when he meets four local residents--a beautiful Japanese girl and three older people--what ensues is a tale that readers will find at once classical yet utterly unique. Author signings.Hide synopsis
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It may take a while to get into this novel. Initially I was concerned that this book would be a little "fru fru" for me but after a while I became immersed in the Japanese culture and began to appreciate the peacefulness (that's the best word I can find) of the story. It is a different type of coming of age story. A story where honor is solely not admired but can also be very painful and can give a death sentence (well, that didn't sound peaceful but read the book and you will understand). Although it is basically a love story of sorts the emotions in Tsukiyama's story are hidden--yet my eyes were welling up towards the end. I found the author's writing soft and picturesque. Well done!
I thought this was a gorgeous book to read. Beautiful writing and a touching story of a young boy who gets sent to live with a family friend in Japan while his home country of China is being ravaged prior to the beginning of WWII. The boy befriends a woman with leprosy and gains a lot of new perspective along with his health.
Once in a rare while, I'll read a book that leaves you thinking, "This is a precious item. This is something I'll never loan out, but will cradle in my heart for ever. It will become an old friend that I go to for comfort and peace." The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama left me with that emotion as I read the last page.
I bought a copy of Women of the Silk by the same author for a Christmas gift. Not having read anything by the author, when I found a copy of The Samurai's Garden a few weeks ago, I instantly added it to the cart.
Sickly, the young Chinese narrator is sent to his father in Japan who sends him to his grandfather's house by the sea to rest and regain his strength. The quietness of the village is a contrast to his life in Hong Kong, but it is 1937 and the Japanese army is marching towards Canton. The unrest of the real world seems far away from the life by the sea, and as Stephen recovers he discovers love looks like many things. It's the feeling of first love, the feeling of parent and child, of a marriage falling apart, of a marriage that never was, and the relationship between friends that is a tight bond.
A quiet book that I will cherish forever; its lyrical passages are full of understanding, grace, beauty, and a deepness that will grow with me. The images she paints with a descriptive brush seem more real than the room I currently sit in. I can see the garden, the sea, the village in my mind. As the complicated story is revealed slowly, it weaves together into a rich tapestry.
From the first quote to the last word, the book is treasure. I wish I had splurged and bought a first edition.
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