In an effort to become a more consistent (and diversified) blogger, I’m launching a few new series over December and January. (The new year will bring a new blog design, too!) I’ve decided to keep things simple. “Recently Read” will include a brief summary of a book (whether it be fiction or non!) and my overall rating. Hopefully, it’ll be a fun way for me to catalogue what I’ve read/enjoyed–and also, a place for my readers to discover new titles.
How To Be An American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway is a novel about Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American soldier and their adult daughter, Sue. Every chapter of the novel begins with an except from another (fictional) book called “How To Be an American Housewife”–a manual of sorts for immigrant wives. The book weaves in old and new stories as Shoko reminisces about her homeland, Japan. She is too elderly to return to Japan before she dies, but asks her daughter Sue to go for her, to visit her brother and to deliver a hand-written letter. Sue is to report back all that she discovers. I love when fictional stories can teach me something about history or culture. The glimpse into how jarring and confusing it would be to immigrant to a new country and established a home–say, me as a wife in Japan?–had me hooked.
This book is entertaining, well-written and an easy-read. I have fond memories of this book, tanning on my back deck on the hottest week of our summer, and reading cover-to-cover for 3 hours straight. It was a gift from Brandon and Jen for my birthday… and in Brandon’s words “The last thing I was going to buy you in the middle of wedding season was a non-fiction book! You need to REST!” And rest I did.