Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to Be an American Housewife - by Margaret Dilloway

This novel tells the story of mother and daughter - Shoko and Sue. Shoko survived the bombing of Nagasaki as a child, and eventually emigrates to the United States with her American-Sailor husband, Charlie. Sue is born and raised in the United States. In addition to negotiating the generation gap that all parents and children must, they have to figure out a way to bridge a culture gap as well. Shoko has the additional challenge of learning American customs, while she learns to love her new husband.

Libraries were featured a few times in this book. Most notably Shoko tells how she dreamed of becoming a diplomat and  "loved reading about different cultures". She found books at the library about "France, England, and Germany...[and] wanted to learn their languages."

Sue mentions her local public library as a feature in her neighborhood that is a "good place to raise a child". Indeed.

These are juxaposed with Shoko's wishing she had a book while waiting for some lab results: "Charlie and I weren't big readers. Books were too expensive and library books were full of germs from all the people who had checked them out." I was left to wonder what happened to the curious young woman with diplomatic aspirations who read all she could.

No comments:

Post a Comment