I watched the film of this some time ago not realising it was a book and therefore accidentally breaking my don’t watch before reading rule. But I’ve finally read the book and having done so I’m pleased I watched the film first.
The beginning of the book gives a very rich and more understandable history to Sayuri’s life and how she ended up in the Geisha home but doesn’t drag or weigh down the story. There’s a lot of description and culture that’s very interesting that complements what’s in the film, explaining some of the different things we see without going over the top.
I loved the way she looked at the world, her innocence and simple desire to live life in a happy way. It wasn’t an easy life and she often had to work hard for what she wanted but she was inspiring.
I also really liekd the last part. It elaborated much more than the film did on her relationship with the Chairman and his friend Nobu, making her decisions feel mroe real and in character than the film did.
My one problem with the book was actually finding out it was entirely fictional. Both the film and the beginning of the book imply heavily that the main character is a real person and the book’s story really happened. I found myself feeling quite upset when the back mentioned that it was fictional.
Although it doesn’t change that the book is good, it changed how inspiring the book is in a real world context and is something I find I really don’t like about some books. It’s now the third that’s really made me feel gutted that it wasn’t true after implying that it was and I wish authors would stop doing it.