Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Review - How To Be An American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

There are some books that after you read it, it stays with you for a very long time and this is one of them.  A beautifully written story about a Japanese woman name Shoko. She is very ill and she tells of her past, how she came to marry an American GI and her new life in America.  She also has a daughter Sue. Sue tells her story of growing up with a Japanese mother. In the end, they both do something that changes their lives forever.
 I will never forget this book, it will always be one of my favorites. I guess because it reminded me of me and my beautiful mother!  

About the book (from Amazon):

In this enchanting first novel, Dilloway mines her own family's history to produce the story of Japanese war bride Shoko, her American daughter, Sue, and their challenging relationship. Following the end of WWII, Japanese shop girl Shoko realizes that her best chance for a future is with an American husband, a decision that causes a decades-long rift with her only brother, Taro. While Shoko blossoms in America with her Mormon husband, GI Charlie Morgan, and their two children, she's constantly reminded that she's an outsider--reinforced by passages from the fictional handbook How to Be an American Housewife. Shoko's attempts to become the perfect American wife hide a secret regarding her son, Mike, and lead her to impossible expectations for Sue. The strained mother-daughter bond begins to shift, however, when a now-grown Sue and her teenage daughter agree to go to Japan in place of Shoko, recently fallen ill, to reunite with Taro. Dilloway splits her narrative gracefully between mother and daughter (giving Shoko the first half, Sue the second), making a beautifully realized whole.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 

Author - Margaret Dilloway :
Margaret Dilloway was inspired by her Japanese mother's experiences when she wrote this novel, and especially by a book her father had given to her mother called The American Way of Housekeeping. She lives in Hawaii with her husband and three young children. Her blog, "American Housewife," can be found on her website, This is her first novel.


Amy said...

I would love to live in Hawaii! I've loved the cover of this book since I first saw it on a blog. I read a review about it a couple of months ago and wanted to read it but I forgot what it was about until I read your review today. It sounds like a powerful book, touching and heartfelt with a captivating story. I definitely want to read it and I'm going totry to get a copy soon.

Thanks for your wonderful review!
~ Amy

Anna said...

I really enjoyed this book, too. It's one of the best I read this year. I hope it's okay to link to your review on War Through the Generations.

Suko said...

Natalie, I would love to read this book! Wonderful review--it sounds like you really enjoyed this book a lot. Have a terrific weekend.

Natalie W said...

Thanks Amy! Anna, yes go ahead, would love you to.
Loved it Suko, its a great read!

Alice Teh said...

I've seen this around but haven't actually have the desire to read it. It's in my radar, though. I'm glad you enjoyed it and resonated with you.

Anonymous said...

This one's on my wish lost. Glad to know it's one of your favorites.