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The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home…
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The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World

by Tracy Slater

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"Shufu" means "wife" in Japanese, and that's what this intelligent, highly professional, outgoing, independent, liberal, upper-class American woman so unpredictably more or less became - even though such a title at first quite shocked her! - at the end of a tumultuous journey of falling in love with a Japanese man, getting used to living in two countries at the same time, and uncovering for herself a world of stunning idiosyncrasies of Japanese culture, so foreign to her own. Holding a Doctorate Degree and very proficient in her field of study, vulnerable and strong at the same time, obstinate but humble, sincere and open in her expressions, she embraced all her struggles because of one single thing - she was in love. The respect and devotion she gave her aging father-in-law showed her as a truly decent person. There was a section in the book which I thought a bit unreserved and drawn-out (where she struggles with IVF treatments in the attempts to conceive a child at her not-so-young-for-it age), but that's what memoirs are - all in the open... On the whole, though - very inspirational reading. I learned a lot about Japanese society and culture. ( )
1 vote Clara53 | Jan 13, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book. It captured me right away. Not as much of a view of Japan as I had expected, it is more the story of one person's search for identity while moving between Japan and Boston. This is a wonderfully engaging memoir. Ms Slater is very honest in sharing her worries and fears and triumphs. Her love for her husband and his for her really shine through. I was surprised that she was so slow to learn Japanese, though I know it is a very difficult language. Her relationship with her father-in-law is especially touching. I hope Tracy will write more about how life continues for her family once the baby is born. I was very sorry it ended so soon. Thank you to Edelweiss for giving me a free copy in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  njcur | Jul 1, 2015 |
The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater is a very enjoyable memoir. I picked it to read because I married someone from a different culture too, only Chinese instead of Japanese. Also the blurb about her boyfriend who later became her husband was about such a sweet and understanding human being. Someone cautioned me that his personality goes against the stereotypical uncaring Japanese man! Of course, that statement did not stop me.

My only negative is that my interest in the story sagged some in the middle because of the author’s discussion of whether or not to continue the relationship because she loved Boston so much and if she moved to Japan it would ruin her plan for her well thought out life. Later on, she came to a tentative resolution and her story turned into a page turner.

I loved her portrayal of her Toru, the spiky haired guy in her class about business communication. He could barely speak English when she first met him but it didn’t take him long to reveal that he loved her.

The author is very honest about her shortcomings that she wasn’t aware of until she started to teach the class. I like the freshness of that many autobiographers are not so honest about their flaws or their lacks. I think if I ever returned to Japan (I was there only for a one day layover.) I would be more aware of the cultural differences. Don’t think I will ever forget about the way her father in law and Toru handled the disappointments in life and the special lesson that the author stated at the end of the book.

I would welcome a sequel to learn more of Tracy Slater and her family’s life. I am still very curious about Japan, a fascinating place!

I received an Advanced Reading Copy from Amazon Vine free but that in no way influenced my thoughts or feelings in this review. ( )
1 vote Carolee888 | Apr 27, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399166203, Hardcover)

In this memoir of travel and love, a fiercely independent American woman finds everything she ever wanted in the most unexpected place.
 
Shufu. In Japanese it means “housewife,” and it’s the last thing Tracy Slater ever thought she’d call herself. A writer and academic, Tracy had carefully constructed a life she loved in her beloved hometown of Boston. But everything was upended when she fell head over heels for the most unlikely mate: a Japanese salaryman based in Osaka who barely spoke her language. Deciding to give fate a chance, Tracy built a life in Japan filled with contradictions and dissonance, but also strange moments of enlightenment and joy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:15 -0400)

"In this memoir of travel and love, a fiercely independent American woman finds everything she ever wanted in the most unexpected place. Shufu. In Japanese it means "housewife," and it's the last thing Tracy Slater ever thought she'd call herself. A writer and academic, Tracy had carefully constructed a life she loved in her beloved hometown of Boston. But everything was upended when she fell head over heels for the most unlikely mate: a Japanese salaryman based in Osaka who barely spoke her language. Deciding to give fate a chance, Tracy built a life in Japan filled with contradictions and dissonance, but also strange moments of enlightenment and joy"--… (more)

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