Thursday, November 02, 2006

"O" Author-Based A ~ Z Reads

Julie Otsuka
Personal Rating: 3/5

"Three" is a generous gift. This novel had no substance. It floated on the surface of very tumultuous water and could have been quite dynamic, but unfortunately, it did not swim. I felt like I was treading water...waiting and waiting to either go under or to be saved. I think my rating is based more on what could have been, than what was, even though a glimmer of hope shined a time or two.

In a nutshell, this fictional story was one of survival for a Japanese American family during WWII. I was brought along with them on the train ride, living in the desert encampment, returning home, and the welcoming of their father after four years of captivity. It had so much potential.


  1. "O" Darn! It's always a shame to read something and not enjoy it.

  2. Joy, I was disappointed in this book, too. Even more so after reading so many good reviews on it. At least now I feel a bit validated in my opinion. Thanks!

  3. Booklogged ~ Thankfully it was a short book. :)

    Les ~ Did you review it on your blog?

  4. What a disappointment. The reviews looked good. I hate it when a book has such potential, but falls short. In some ways that's more disappointing than something that just wasn't that good at all.

  5. Ohhh, Joy, so sorry you didn't like it - I read this a long time ago, but I really enjoyed it. Infact, it was the spare writing and how she told such an important,moving story in so few words that attracted me.

  6. I think I will pass on this one. But I love your review. What a great analogy. It describes so well how I've felt about some books.

  7. Suzi ~ I agree. But after reading Lotus's thoughts, I have a better perspective.

    Lotus ~ Thank you. I think you are right. It's charm was supposed to be in its shortcut version. But, I believe that her storyline could have been more powerful if she took the longer route. It was a great idea.

    Framed ~ I guess it's not always a "sink or swim" situation. :)

  8. I loved this booi, which I read last year in one of my book clubs. I liked the simplicity of the writing, and the way I could picture every detail. I participated in the sorrow of the woman as she said good-bye to everything, including her dog, before she and her children were taken away from their home. I can still see her buying an extra large jar of Pond's cold cream to last her as long as she thought she'd be gone.

  9. No, I read it several years ago before I started blogging. I'll see if I can find my review in my Word docs and send it to you, if you like.

  10. Bellezza ~ I seem to be "out of the loop" when it comes to rating. Either that or I'm just a tough one to please.

    Les ~ Thanks for offering, but you don't need to go to all that trouble. I was just curious.

  11. Anonymous8:12 PM

    Maybe you all decided you didn't like it because you didn't understand it?

  12. Anonymous10:18 AM

    Some interesting and controversial comments here. Join an online discussion of When the Emperor Was Divine at and let others hear your opinions.


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