“On the boat we were mostly virgins. We had long black hair and flat wide feet and we were not very tall. Some of us had eaten nothing but rice gruel as young girls and had slightly bowed legs, and some of us were only fourteen years old and were still young girls ourselves.”
A National Book Award finalist, The Buddha in the Attic is a wonderful gem of a little book describing the plight of Japanese mail-order brides in the years following World War I. There are no single characters, per se. The story is told as a collective. You hear specific names, but they are only mentioned once, to point out one instance under an umbrella of experiences. Yet despite it’s unique portrayal, it is still highly readable and hauntingly mesmerizing.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2011