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*** stars This is the story of two women whose lives intersect in late-nineteenth-century Japan. It also a portrait of Japan as it opens its doors to the West. It was a period when wearing a different color kimono could make a political statement, when women stopped blackening their teeth to profess an allegiance to Western ideas, and when Japan’s most mysterious rite—the tea ceremony became not just a sacramental meal, but a ritual battlefield. The narrator, Aurelia, an American orphan adopted by the Shin family, proprietors of a tea ceremony school, after their daughter, Yukako, finds her hiding on their grounds. Aurelia becomes Yukako’s closest companion, and they, the Shin family, and all of Japan face a time of great challenges and uncertainty. Like a tea ceremony, this novel moves with delicacy and slow pace. If you find Japanese history and tradition interesting, I would recommend the book.
posted Oct 1, 2013 at 12:04AM
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