The favourite book of: Céline V.

Céline V. is one of my newest but also one of my closest friends. We’ve known each other for about 3 years now. We met through the wind orchestra which I’ve been a member of for almost 20 years and she joined three years ago. We’re best friends, vacay buddies and we watch a lot of the same shows and movies. The only downside to her is that she doesn’t read. I’m kidding of course! It’s not a downside, but it is true that she doesn’t read much. So interviewing her about her favourite book might prove hard, but we’ll manage.

Céline hasn’t read much, but she didn’t need to think very long about her favourite book: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. It’s actually also one of my favourite novels, so at least we have similar tastes ;). As a short summary, she said: “It’s about a girl who grew up in a small village but was taken away from her family because her parents couldn’t afford to raise her. Both her sister and she end being sold to geisha houses. She tries to escape and get back to her sister to go home, but she fails to do so. Eventually, she realises the only way out is up, so she starts working hard to become the best geisha. When she’s still young, she falls in love with a handsome rich man, who eventually rescues her and brings her to her new life in America.”

She doesn’t know anything about the author, because she read this book for a high school book report and only had to summarise the book and explain how she felt about it. As for genre, she would put this book in the romance genre, but also calls it a war story.

Céline appreciated the bravery of Chiyo/Sayuri, the main character, and admires how she really made something of herself. As for a hated character, she didn’t have to think long to name Hatsumomo (well, describe the character, since she didn’t remember her name). Hatsumomo is the main geisha of the house where Chiyo ends up and is supposed to be her mentor and train her to become the next big geisha to follow in her footsteps. But Hatsumomo is jealous of Chiyo and does her best to work against her at every stop of the way, to try and sabotage her career and even tries to end her life at a certain point. Luckily, Chiyo outwits her and gets her revenge when she becomes the main, highest earning geisha instead.

There isn’t really anything she would change about it, since it’s based on true events. And she wouldn’t immediately try to convince others to read it. She herself has trouble imagining the story just based on the words, so she would be more likely to steer others towards the movie version – which, by the way, she absolutely loved. She saw the movie first, after which she decided to read the book. And even though the stories were quite similar, she wouldn’t say one of the two was better or worse. She likes both the movie and the book equally.

Céline wouldn’t necessarily want to talk to the author, but she would be interested in talking to the main character, Sayuri herself. She wants to know how she felt, how she dealt with her feelings and how she managed to get a handle on her emotions with everything she went through.

What do you think? Did you love this book as much as Céline? Be sure to comment below! And if you’d like to tell me about your favourite book, you are free to contact me here: loes@owlishbooks.com.

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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