Why did I love this book?
Years of research into Japanese life, culture, and history went into the preparation for writing this totally believable and lyrical work of fiction that takes the reader through the life of a Geisha from orphaned child to old woman. As Sayuri is groomed for a life of elegant slavery we see the glittering world of the Geisha through her eyes with its demands, emotional loneliness, and pathos. And we accompany her at a time when the Geisha houses are forced to close during World War II and she must reinvent herself. The book is peopled by compelling characters but there is none more convincing than the protagonist in this exacting cultural and historical experience. I found it to be an exceptional depiction of a multi-faceted woman by a male author. It moved me to be as exact as possible when developing a character of another culture.