MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA meets CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON - THE PILLOW BOOK OF THE FLOWER SAMURAI is a gorgeously vivid, fresh historical that instantly captures the imagination
Barbara Lazar studied English Literature at Syracuse University; she received her masters from the University of South Florida in Tampa and was selected to be that university's representative to the Florida Poetry Festival and received her doctorate from the University of Virginia in reading education. She taught for many years, worked as a mainframe programmer for NASA, and wrote and taught as an Instructional Systems Designer for major corporations. Obsessed with Japanese culture and its rich history of storytelling, she has spent the last twelve years meticulously researching what has become THE PILLOW BOOK OF THE FLOWER SAMURAI. She currently writes and teaches in San Antonio, Texas.
This debut novel centers on Kozaisho-, sold by her family as a young girl to a wealthy proprietor in exchange for land. Thus begins her life course of tragedy, friendship, love, redemption, and honor. Kozaisho- forms close relationships with Tashiko, who helps her learn how to survive their difficult new owner, and Akio, a samurai who acts as her mentor in the ways of battle. These friendships continue after she is sold to a new owner and becomes a woman-of-play for visiting men of stature. The story finds its focus when Tashiko is murdered by a priest of high status and Kozaisho- makes it her life's mission to kill him. In plotting her revenge, she secretly sharpens her sword skills, while gaining a reputation for her beauty and storytelling. VERDICT Set in 12th-century Japan, this historical tale packs in a lot of fast-paced action as well as romance over the course of Kozaisho-'s lifetime. It is certain to attract readers who enjoyed Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan as well as Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha.-Madeline Solien, Deerfield P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.