Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden surprised me. It was on the shelf at home and on the list of books that's been floating around the net, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Knowing nothing about it other than the title and what the cover looked like, I expected it to be okay at best. The cliche holds true though. The cover tells you nothing. The story in this book is told from the perspective of a Geisha who begins working in the time just before WWII. It is written as if dictated by the Geisha (now living in New York) to a friend. The author does a great job of getting that feeling across. The entire tone of the book is conversational, and carries an undercurrent of shared knowledge. You feel that you have some background that makes the story immeadiatley identifyable. The tone is light and relaxed throughout. In the end you feel like you've learned a bit about a friend.
There are no earth-shaking revalations, or even many surprises along the way, but this story doesn't need them. It is a relaxing read, yet still one that's hard to put down because it makes you feel like you do when the phone rings while a friend is over.
8 of 10