This story takes place in Kyoto, Japan in the 1930’s and 40’s. We follow Chiyo, a poor girl from a fishing village, sold into slavery at age nine. A chance encounter with a kindly businessman known as “The Chairman”, changes her life in ways she could never imagine. As the war ramps up, Chiyo must be resourceful if she is to attain prominence as a geisha and gain the attentions of The Chairman, for whom she longs. The author’s lyrical writing is beautiful; the coming of age story, compelling. There is an emotional intensity that comes from seeing the whole story from our main character’s point-of-view. Overall, I would recommend this for fans of historical fiction and those interested in Japanese culture.

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