This is a soft, bittersweet story about a young Chinese man with tuberculosis who recuperates in Japan during the Japanese sweep of China in 1937. A wonderful story by Gail Tsukiyama. All of her books are beautifully written and unforgetable.
This write is awesome! She really paints a picture with her words. This story really gives great insight into the life of a Chinese boy and his coming of age in the Japanese culture as the Japanese army is invading China. He is sent to his grandfather's beach house to recouperate from an illness and lives with the remaining servant there. This old man teaches him many things and introduces him to the lepers in a nearby colony. The young man learns to think outside himself and feel empathy and compassion for others. I won't tell more about the book because you need to read it!
Library Journal says: Seventeen-year-old Stephen leaves his home in Hong Kong just as the Japanese are poised to invade China. He is sent to Tarumi, a small village in Japan, to recuperate from tuberculosis. His developing friendship with three adults including a woman with leprosy and a young woman his own age brings him to the beginnings of wisdom about love, honor, and loss.
This is a beautiful and heartfelt novel, which starts slowly and engages you more deeply with every page.
If the word "gentle" could be used to describe a style of writing...
this book is gently written. It's a coming of age story for a 20 yr. old young man sent away to recuperate from tuberculosis. He meets some very interesting people who befriend him.
Touching and reserved love story between a very reserved Japanese household serving-man and a once lovely disfigured woman, as seen through the eyes of a Chinese boy who has been sent to his summer home in Japan to recover from TB. Takes place just before WWII.
quite interesting from the point of view of the relationship between japanese and chinese in 1937+- this is only one example of a seperated family living partly in Hong Kong and Japan. the love story and the leper community brings the story to life also.
This is not an engrossing page-turner of a thriller. I found it to be relaxing, comforting, a point of serenity in my otherwise hectic life. There is plenty to think about while reading, if one is so inclined, but Tsukiyama doesn't force that down one's throat. I read this for book group and would recommend it to others.
This was a wonderfully written story, full of warmth, love and even a few tears. I picked the book up, thinking it would be a short, pleasant read. Within a few pages, the characters had worked their way into my heart. They were all so gentle and quiet, but I found that the silences spoke volumes. I was sad when the book ended as I wanted to spend more time in the world that the author created.
I feel the same about this book as with the other reviewers. Loved the gentleness of the storytelling. Wonderful and strong character development. I usually say books are quick reads, but with this one, I'd advise reading it slowly because you won't want it to end.
I just finished reading Gail Tsukiyamas The Samaurais Garden. I can only try to describe how I felt while reading and how I feel now that Ive come to the end. The story is simple but highly thought provoking. As I became comfortable with Ms. Tsukiyamas writing style, which is uncluttered and pure in the Japanese fashion, I found myself calming into an almost meditative state. Her prose flows like a gently babbling brook; or, more accurately, like the movement of the bamboo rake drawn through the pebbles of Sachis, one of the characters, stone garden. It is sparse but completely adequate to convey the characters' messages of gentleness, strength, courage, fortitude and natural beauty.
During the course of reading, when I found it necessary to put the book down for whatever reason, I found myself transformed and would feel the need to regroup, mentally and emotionally, back into my world. Then, when I picked it up to begin reading again I found myself tumbling gently back into the world Ms. Tsukiyama's characters and story had created. I became an an active observer of Stephen, the narrator, Matsu, the caretaker and gardener, and Sachi, the beautiful leper. I was mesmerized by their personalities and wisdom, simplicity and the care they took in living their lives. The book became a form of meditation that stays with me now as I reflect.
A sweet gentle tale about a not so sweet time in the world. This garden is set apart from the world during war time in Japan, lived by a Chinese student sent away for his health by his family. Each character he meets has a story to tell him of how to live with lost love, suffering and pain. These people are willow trees, being blown about by tornado like winds, but with a resolve not to break I wish I had.
this book is my favorite of this authors many good book. i have a copy and could not bear to part with it.it is lyrical and i think the review above says it best savor it. then go look up her other books
Could not put down! young man recovering from TB spends time in a seaside village in Japan on the eve of WWII. Back cover decribes it well-"he has his own adventures, but it is the unfolding sory of Matsu, Sachi, and Kenzo that seizes your attention and will stay with you forever".
Very elegant and personal tale of 20 year old Chinese young man set in early World War II Japan. I agree with the critic who said Tsukiyama has written a book with lines as clean, simple, and dazzling as the best of Oriental art.