The Buddha In The Attic – Julie Otsuka

The Buddha In The Attic – Julie Otsuka


Some of the best things come in small, slight packages. The Buddha In The Attic ticks these boxes.  A collective, lyrical narrative about Japanese mail-order brides travelling to the US recounting very different stories and experiences as a collective narrative in such a slim book is no mean feat. It left me and the other members of the @BritMums Book Club wanting more.

The book tells us in a very short time how difficult and challenging it must be to be removed from one culture and thrown into a completely different one. Stories of love, abuse, abandonment, wealth, poverty and great hardship are told in gentle, poetic strokes. The Japanese experience  at this time in the US was quite diverse until the internment of Japanese nationals after Pearl Harbour. Then it was consistently cruel ripping people from their communities. Absolutely terrifying. A great read.

Exterior of Daunt Books Fulham Road, London


For the rest of  summer reading I’m looking forward to Otsuka’s first novel When the Emperor Was Divine and Damian Barr’s Maggie and Me brilliantly serialised on BBC Radio 4 recently. Damian’s Biography charts his life while growing up under the shadow of Margaret Thatcher. Anyone as charming and funny as Damian deserves to be read and this will be my non-fiction reading over the next couple of weeks.

You can catch Damian talking about Memoir Writing  with members of BritMums here and find out about his Literary Salon –  a great idea.

Disclaimer:  As Editor of BritMums Book Club I recieved a  review copy of the book for free (as do the first 100 UK based members who sign up for a review copy). I will be buying a copy of Maggie and Me from my local independent book shop and  thank Jen Howse from Jenography and Co-founder of BritMums  for introducing me to another interesting author.

The Buddha In The Attic by Julie Otsuka published by Penguin £7.99 RRP  UK Sterling

3 Responses to "The Buddha In The Attic – Julie Otsuka"

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  1. April @ The 21st Century Housewife

    August 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I totally agree, The Buddah in the Attic was a really great read. Thank you for visiting and commenting on my review too 🙂

  2. Jennifer

    September 3, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I’m so glad that I was introduced to this book via the Book Club as I never would have found it otherwise. I agree that it was a wonderful read!

  3. Susanna

    September 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I loved this book. Partly because I grew up in CA where it took place. I loved the way the author took on the collective, yet separate voices of the women who came from Japan to California for a better life.

    The line “some of us where due to enter Stanford in the Fall” still stands out to me.


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