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How To Be An American Housewife by Margaret…
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How To Be An American Housewife

by Margaret Dilloway

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5245819,294 (3.73)38

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Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Interesting set-up of now — every chapter started w/ quote from old manual supposedly given to Jap wives
Everything for sons — siblings didn't know bond — always sorrry
learn Eng only — not confused w/ 2 languages
Pg 130
* cremation not burial purifies the spirit prepares for afterlife
Pg 231 — too old + too tired to keep up pretenses
P. 232 — if there is more — not my story to tell
Nagasaki Peace Park — Enlarged Heart — Radiation
20th c California
WWII aftermath — occupied Japan
P. 168 Learn only Eng. — not confuse 2 languages

How to Be an American Housewife is a novel about mothers and daughters, and the pull of tradition. It tells the story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue to go in her place. The trip reveals family secrets that change their lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways. Offering an entertaining glimpse into American and Japanese family lives and their potent aspirations, this is a warm and engaging novel full of unexpected insight
  christinejoseph | Aug 1, 2017 |
a quick read, too easily wrapped up at the end. Shoko has been in this country what, 50 years and she still talks like a bad Japanese dubbed movie? not sure if I buy it. ( )
  cookierooks | Nov 16, 2016 |
An interesting, but not amazing novel about a Japanese woman who marries an American soldier after World War II and resettles in the United States. I found this novel a little difficult to get into - and it took me a while to finish it (which is saying something, since the edition I read was less than 300 pages). I was intrigued by the author's note at the end and the comments about how the novel was partly based on the author's mother and her experiences. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jul 24, 2016 |
This is another one I really wish I had the 3.5 for. I enjoyed the story of Shoko's early life more. I found it odd that her articulation was still so stilted after so many tears in America, and that she still seemed so isolated, but I certainly can't claim to know what it would be like. The Japanese cousin's orientation was a little hard to place in the story in that I don't know much about how it plays out in Japanese culture. Good story of a family healed. ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
Read on the heals of The Buddha in the Attic and a re-read of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I seem to be on an Asian-theme in my reading. This was a great character study and exploration of familial relationships and culture clash. I liked the difference voices of the characters and their moving from Japan to America, through generations. It was a very easy and quick book to read and is recommended. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"Once you leave Japan, it is extremely likely that you will return, unless your husband is stationed there again or becomes wealthy. Take a few reminders of Japan with you, if you have room. Or make arrangements to write to a caring relative who is willing to send you letters or items from your homeland. This can ease homesickness. And be sure to tell your family, 'Sayonara.'"
-- Tamiko Kelly and Jun Tanaka, How To Be An American Housewife (1955); from the chapter "Turning American"
Dedication
For my mother, Suiko O'Brien, 1932-1994.
First words
I had always been a disobedient girl.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399156372, Hardcover)

A lively and surprising novel about a Japanese woman with a closely guarded secret, the American daughter who strives to live up to her mother's standards, and the rejuvenating power of forgiveness.

How to Be an American Housewife is a novel about mothers and daughters, and the pull of tradition. It tells the story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue to go in her place. The trip reveals family secrets that change their lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways. Offering an entertaining glimpse into American and Japanese family lives and their potent aspirations, this is a warm and engaging novel full of unexpected insight.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue to go in her place. The trip reveals family secrets that change their lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways.… (more)

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