I enjoy Japanese fiction and this is an interesting book. It is a love story set in feudal Japan. Good read.
This is a lovely piece of historical fiction in an age not frequently written about--feudal Japan. It gives the reader wonderful insights into how Japanese society functioned then and what its values were. It is written in a similarly unusual style, almost as if the book were trying to represent the spare Japanese esthetic most usually expressed in a Haiku verse. In its entirety, the book tells a wonderful love story of a different time based on different values and expectations....and the story of that love intertwined with the story of four children whose lives intersected at one point in time that marked each of them forever.
From the back: "A sweeping love story of epic range and depth about three characters raised in a Heian world of high culture and artistry whose shimmering fabric is soon to be torn by a savage civil war."
Set in ancient Japan. Reads like a sophisticated fairy tale--very beautiful.
Similar to other historical Japanese novels I've read, this one tediously focuses on mundane activities in great detail. It took six pages for a woman to wash her hair. I couldn't take the characters bursting out into poetry at odd intervals as if they were in some kind of musical; that was too strange. The writing was solid and intelligent, but I couldn't connect with a single character and didn't feel bad putting the book down.
I didn't finish reading this as it quickly fell to the bottom of my 'to be read' list. The first half of the book didn't grab me in a strong manner, which led me to care less about the ending. I'm sure eventually I will finish it but I doubt it will enrich me.
The story is written very simply, but displays deep emotion. Anyone looking for an Asian atmosphere, with emotional, deep understanding involved with love and desire will appreciate this story.