When the Emperor Was Divine

Julie Otsuka

First Sentence:    The sign had appeared overnight.

I recently read The Buddha in the Attic and something about it bugged me. I felt like it could have been a lot better than it was, but I found plenty to admire at the same time. For that reason I thought I’d give Otsuka another go and read this, her first novel. Seems to me though, if you’ve read one, you’ve read the other. They are very similar in almost every way, the main difference being this book concentrates on the plight of one family, as opposed to The Buddha in the Attic  which tried to encapsulate the thoughts of an entire country. Here we are presented with the story of mother, father, son and daughter and it makes for an altogether more enjoyable book. So yeah, if you’re going to read one of Otsuka’s books, make it this one, but really, there are better books you could be reading…

* * *

Last Sentence:    Now can I go?

Last Sentence explained:     There’s nothing to explain here. The book is a document of one Japanese American family’s plight during World War II and is not very story based. I really like that cover though…


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