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This blog is managed by us two sisters, known to some as Ants and Epic. We're a pair of up-and-coming authors and avid readers. This blog is mainly full of honest, Christian book-reviews and an occasional update about our writing. We love hearing from you all so feel free to drop a comment anywhere to just say hi!
Also, got any book suggestions? Something you'd like to see reviewed? Leave the title in the comments and we'll try to get to it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Review: Of Nightingales That Weep

Summary: The daughter of a samurai never weeps. But Takiko, whose warrior father was killed in battle, finds this a hard rule, especially when her mother remarries a strange and ugly country potter. To get away from her miserable home, Takiko eagerly accepts a position at the imperial Japanese court. There, her beauty and nightingale voice captivate the handsome young warrior, Hideo -- who also turns out to be an enemy spy. As war breaks out, Takiko flees the court and is forced to choose between loyalty to her people and her love for Hideo. She painfully learns that whatever choice she makes, she cannot run away from her samurai honor.

Thoughts: I admit to being pretty fascinated with Japanese culture so when I saw this in a little used bookstore while on vacation, I snatched it up eagerly! As far as the history goes, I wasn't disappointed. Reading like a Scott O'Dell the story takes us through the war of the Genji vs the Heike and shows the various positions and trials of the times. At the end though, I had to admit I didn't like the book much. The characters were weak and simple, I really did not appreciate Takiko. Everyone else seemed a little a little thought out and human but she was entirely self centered and too childish for her time. And the end...well I saw part of it coming and enjoyed that, but the last two pages were surprising and not very pleasant. I understand cultural differences but the author isn't Japanese and I found it unnecessary to push that far.

Content: Takiko falls in love at a young age (fourteen or fifteen) and it might have been implied that she 'slept with' her lover at one time though this is not definite. She does however, in the end, SPOILER marry her step-father and bear him children. many wives are mentioned as a good thing in court life and there is plentiful talk of Buddhism and other Asian religions, going to far as to instigate a woman to commit suicide and kill her grandson while others attempt to follow her example. Most of this isn't touched upon in an overly offensive manor, skimming over this and changing the view on that, but it's still there. Over all though, I think most readers of history could handle it.

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