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Midori by Moonlight (英語) ペーパーバック – 2007/9/18
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Midora Saito's dream seems about to come true. Too independent for Japanese society, she is a young woman who has always felt like a stranger in her native land. So when she falls in love with Kevin, an American English teacher, she readily agrees to leave home and start a new life with him in San Francisco - as his fiancee. Kevin seems to be the perfect man. That is, until he dumps her for his blonde ex-fiancee, whom Midori never even knew existed. Midora is left on her own, with just a smattering of fractured English, not much cash, and a visa set to expire in sixty days. Unable to face the humiliation of telling her parents she's been jilted, and not wanting to give up on her "American Dream," Midora realizes she's in for quite a challenge.Her only hope is her new acquaintance (and potential landlord) Shinji, a successful San Francisco graphic artist and amateur moon gazer who fled Japan after a family tragedy. And eventually, Midora surprises even herself as she proves she will do almost anything to hang on to her dream of a new life.
"Midori By Moonlight" is part wasabi, part ginger, and as scrumptious as a California roll. You'll devour this book in a day! "Cara Lockwood, bestselling author of Dixieland Sushi" A delightful fusion of East meeting West, as if Banana Yoshimoto and Meg Cabot got together to create a romantic comedy. "Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of Vertigo" Midori is endearing, feisty, and funny: the novel is a delight. "Ellen Sussman, editor of Bad Girls and author of On a Night Like This." Shedding light on Japanese culture and modern dating, relating, and living woes, Tokunaga blends both with an insider's eye for nuance and a real love for her characters. Delightfully sweet, just like Midori. "Margo Candela, author of Life Over Easy""商品の説明をすべて表示する
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)
Midori is a Japanese woman brought to the United States by her American fiancé who promptly dumps her for an old flame less than a week after her arrival. What Midori lacks in English language skill, she more than makes up in gumption and a quirkiness that draws people to her. Having never felt as if she really fit into traditional Japanese culture, she sets out to make a life for herself in the US while the clock ticks away on her fiancée visa.
What makes this novel really stand out is the attention to detail that enlivens the characters and brings to light idiosyncrasies of both American and Japanese cultures. Readers familiar with contemporary Japan will smile at references such as the "Engrish" business name "Let's English" and describing unmarried Japanese women as Christmas cakes. Even Midori's fascination with beautiful baked sweets highlights a subtle Japanese trait. Midori maintains many Japanese characteristics, photographing and documenting desserts in a journal for example, while expressing parts of herself that feel much more American - her independent spirit and willingness to do whatever it takes to earn a living. Side characters such as Damian and Tracy portray the many American fascinations with and distortions of Japanese culture. While glimpses are seen through the character Akina, additional description of modern Japanese women living in Japan would have created a stronger foil for Midori's independent spirit, further revealing how she truly is caught between two cultures.
More than just a story about Japanese and American cultures, Midori by Moonlight is a story of expressing your true self to find your own path in the world. Tokunaga creates an endearing character in Midori that readers will root for, laugh with and love to befriend over cup of green tea and a decadent slice of cake.
Armchair Interviews says: Interesting characters make this book special.
Midori by Moonlight is categorized as `chick-lit', which is a term "used to denote a genre of women's fiction written for and marketed primarily to single, working women in their 20's and 30's in the post-feminist era." And while it does fit those parameters, this extremely well-crafted novel is so much more, and can be enjoyed by so many other readers besides by those to whom `chick lit' is generally marketed.
The author, Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, (an American who has spent much time in Japan, and is married to the Japanese-born musician, Manabu Tokunaga) weaves many noteworthy aspects of both the Japanese culture and the American into the plot, such as the personal restrictions inherent in Japanese society, the American penchant for regarding foreign societies in general terms of either "wonderful and unique" or "backward", and a number of other aspects of both cultures that we would all do well to examine for their drawbacks. But she does all this with such a finesse and lack of moralizing, that readers might never become aware that this element of keen observation is subtly added to the straight-forward plot in the same way as one of the carefully chosen ingredients is flavored into the main character's delicious home-made cakes.
As I observed in my review of Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells, I wonder if it takes another writer to fully understand that the more simply-written and the more easily read a work appears to be, the more difficult it actually was to create. Midori by Moonlight also clearly fits into that category. All in all, great fun but very intelligent read.
Review by Patricia Volonakis Davis, author of Harlot's Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece