Another reviewer has already said it--the flashbacks in this novel make it a bit difficult to follow, at first. As soon as the reader gets involved, however, the flashbacks are essential to filling in the backstories of the sushi chef Ito, the alcoholic waitress Marianne, a Vietnamese boat refugee, and an exotic massage parlour worker. The entire novel takes place in two short nights, but the flashbacks constitute the core of the story, and the many American and Asian characters that make up this complicated and tragic tale.
As an American, the alcoholic waitress Marianne is the one I most closely identify with, as she lost her child to child protective services and moved to the city with big dreams (or delusions) of earning her way back into respectable life. I wonder how Japanese and Vietnamese immigrants feel about the portrayal of their heritage in this book.
This is a beautifully written tragedy, and for anyone who enjoyed this book, I highly recommend Andre Dubus III's The House of Sand and Fog.
- Hardcover: 234 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr (1 April 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0871137844
- ISBN-13: 978-0871137845
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.9 x 22.2 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 431 g
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