I am part of a few book clubs because as everyone knows I LOVE to read. As part of the Beta Book Club (the Philly Chi Omega Alumae book club for those in the Western Suburbs of Philly) we read The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka for January's book.
The Buddha in the Attic was definitely not like any other books that I have ever read before, and it is actually the first book in a while that I remember really not liking. This book came highly recommended and I was really looking forward to reading it... then I started to read it... and well it was not at all what I was expecting. Honestly I am not sure what I was expecting, but I definitely expected it to be an enlightening read, and instead I found myself struggling to keep myself interested in it.
The story is narrated in the first person plural which was an interesting choice by the author. I think that the author's intent was for it to make the story seem more real and more like a conversation going on between a group of women, but for me it took away from the story. I spent more time trying to figure out who was talking, who they were talking about, and what was going on and I think sometimes what the characters were saying was lost on me. From the beginning when the women were on the boat headed to the United States on I was never sure if it was the same person talking, if different people were having conversations, or what was going on. For me I feel like it would have been better had the story been told from one person instead of using first person plural.
The beginning of the book was definitely the most interesting part. I did enjoy reading about the journey to America and what life was like for these women on the ship. It was interesting to read about their hopes, dreams, desires and what they thought life would be like in America. I felt their pain when they got to the US and discovered that their husbands were not who they said that they were. I felt their pain when they had to work in jobs that were just as bad as the lives they had left behind. I truly felt for them as they struggled to adapt to their new lives which turned out to be no better than the ones they had left behind.
The middle part of the book is kind of a blur... I don't actually really remember much of what went on. I remember reading another book because I was bored with The Buddha in the Attic.
Overall what should have been a fairly quick read took me WEEKS to finish because I just wasn't that into it. Usually I am cool with historical fiction, but for whatever reason this one was just not written in a way that caught my attention.
Note: The opinions expressed in this book review are my own and I am sorry for anyone I may have offended if you truly enjoyed this book. I know not everyone has the same taste in books and for whatever reason this one was just not for me.
As always, another edition of what I am thankful for. Today I am thankful for people who share my love of reading. I love that I am able to be a part of a couple of different book clubs with people from various stages of my life. I am thankful that they have helped me to read books that are outside of my comfort zone and have given me a place where we can discuss these books without worrying about what people will think of our opinions. I am thankful that we are able to meet and have these discussions and to get to know one another through our love of reading.