When you talk about a story that keeps flowing seamlessly without any interruption, when all characters come alive like a real life drama and bring out an epic plot, when you want to know what’s brewing the very next moment. This is where you understand you must have picked the book for all the right reasons. And finishing a 434-page book wouldn’t be a struggle.
This remarkable work of fiction is brilliantly weaved by the novelist Arthur Golden. I felt like I got into the skin of the character and understood her life. As if I was the young Chiyo who left the fishing village of Yoroido with tremendous mixed feelings, bereaved from her ailing mother, an old father, and Satsu – her only sister.
I understood her fear of embarking on a journey for the first time ever, arriving at a destination that was completely unknown, surrounded by people who never looked so strange. I could sense that distress in her, her anguish as if I was walking by her side watching her life closely.
Time traveling to pre-World War II era in Japan, this narrative takes me to the world of Geisha. I don’t know how many of us know who and what a Geisha is. Before embarking on this book, I had a faint idea of who a Geisha truly is. Although, Nitta Sayuri has been a fictional character, but to know Sayuri was understanding a real Geisha.
A Geisha is not a prostitute. Elegance, beauty, and artistry define her. She is an entertainer, but she would never chase a man. She would pour Sake for him, but her dignity is pristine. She could seduce a man just by her eyes, but she cannot be touched just like that. She could have a Danna- a wealthy patron who would take care of her expenses, but she can never marry. If she does, she ceases to be a Geisha.
A man could be besotted by her charm completely for she is a Geisha. Geisha which means an artisan, an artist, for this is what she truly is….
Sold by her father at a young age, Chiyo’s gray eyes had captivated and fascinated many. She ventured into the world unknown to her. What lay ahead was a journey full of struggles, dreams, and hopes. Young Chiyo who soon turned to Sayuri, a girl’s real name changes once she turns into a Geisha, remains undaunted by her dream of becoming a Geisha and to be with the man she loved so much.
As fate would have it, she encountered many men, yet her heart grew warm with the very thought of Mr. Chairman. Her heart yearned for him, but she could only see him from a distance. But, now she is a Geisha. And, she became one because she wanted Mr. Chairman to be in her life. How can she give up? Ever since she has met Mr. Chairman as a young girl who gave her candy once, she kept the fondness for him alive.
Deep in her heart, she knew she would be with him one day
Memoirs of a Geisha is a tale rendered splendidly by the author. Walking me through the lives of Sayuri and other characters, Mr. Golden leaves a deep impression in my mind. Even after I had closed the book, the story plays in my mind. It is one of those stories where you don’t feel the fragments are missing anywhere.
This book sets off a flurry of emotions, but you feel the contentment.
I picked this book very late, randomly from a bookstore in Goa. But, I am happy that I came across this and got a chance to read this delightful novel.