This is for my in-person book club this month: How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway.
The story: First this is fiction. It is the story of a Japanese woman who marries an American soldier at the end of World War II. They move to America, and sometime during their first year of marriage he gives her a book called "How to Be an American Housewife" that is written in English and Japanese with tips on how to acclimate to American life and culture. The novel actually takes place when Shoko (the Japanese woman) is old and having health problems and is mainly about her relationship with her daughter and her family that is still in Japan.
The review: The story is a good story of reconciliation. There are flashbacks to Shoko's past as a young woman in Japan, and it is an interesting view of the culture. It is also interesting to see what has happened to her family.
While the story is good, the writing isn't very good. It is pretty flat and stilted. I kept wondering if she was trying to imitate a dialect, even in Shoko's thoughts, but she wasn't.
I finished my eight-week class last week. Heather and I both said that I needed to do something special as a celebration. Heather had tons of suggestions for how to splurge, but after thinking about it I decided all I wanted to do was lay on my couch and read a book for mindless entertainment.
So I got Heat Rises by Richard Castle.
The story: This is the third installment of the Nikki Heat detective series that goes with the TV show Castle. So once again Nikki Heat teams up with Jameson Rook to solve a murder.
Here are the things that I love about this series:
1. It's hilarious.
2. There are tons of references to the TV show, like Castle making all kinds of references to himself in the story.
3. It's kind of fun to see Castle and Beckett sort of get together, since it probably will never happen in the TV show.
4. There are tons of pop-culture references, which are just funny too.