This is a fascinating look at an Old World Japanese family at the brink of World War II. Critics have called it "the greatest Japanese novel of the 20th Century." I can't agree or disagree because I've never read any other Japanese novel. If you enjoy traveling to other cultures in your reading, try this book.
Interesting story about the old culture of Japan before the war. The Makioka sisters are four girls who come from a wealthy, prestigious family. There are the younger two sisters who are unmarried but culture dictates that older most marry before the younger. Yukiko is rather shy and old fashioned while the younger single girl, Taeko, is more modern and headstrong.
The central theme of the book is about the search for a suitable husband for Yukiko. Marriage planning takes time as the families look into each others background and family. Then there is a meeting face to face with the family around to have the couple meet for the first time and get to know one another. There are many such meetings but all prove disappointing. In the meantime, Taeko, seemingly grabs life by the horns and does as she pleases. A much different character from her older sister, Yukiko.
While the matchmaking goes on, we read about life at that time for the four sisters in their various situations. It is a lengthy novel but gives one an in-depth view of Japanese culture, mores and living. Each sister has her own distinct voice and personality and I found that quite interesting, refreshing and entertaining.
Yukiko is 30. Her parents are still trying to marry her off, and her younger sister is worried because she cannot be married until Yukiko, as the eldest, is. Set in Osaka, before and after World War II, this story looks at a style of life that was destroyed forever with Hiroshima.