Weekend Reads: “How to Be an American Housewife”
I went into the Wayback Machine for this week’s review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“How to Be An American Housewife” is based in large part on stories told to author Margaret Dilloway by her Japanese mother.
Shoko is a young Japanese woman who comes to the United States after marrying an American GI at the end of World War II. Her part of the tale talks about her life in Japan and how different everything is in America. She frequently discusses how much she misses her brother, Taro, from whom she has been estranged since marrying Charlie.
Sue (Suiko) is Shoko and Charlie’s daughter. She feels as though she is a failure in her mother’s eyes, and so is surprised when Shoko asks that Sue and her daughter Helena go to Japan to find Taro. As Shoko is facing some severe health problems, Sue reluctantly agrees.
This book talks about a number of issues: prejudice, tradition, the immigrant experience, and mother/daughter friendships. These are filtered through both harsh and gentle experiences by both protagonists.
(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)