Jocelyn's Reviews > How to Be an American Housewife

How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway
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Aug 03, 11

Read in August, 2011

Shoko is a Japanese woman who marries an American soldier at the end of WWII. She travels with him to America and strives to become the perfect American housewife. Dilloway was inspired by her Japenese mother's experiences when she wrote HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE. She was especially inspired by a book that her father gave to her mother when they were first married titled The American Way of Housekeeping. Shoko's father supports the marriage but her younger brother does not, something that haunts her years later. What I loved most about this book was watching Shoko try to adjust to a new life in a foreign place. Part of the book is also told from the point of view of Sue, Shoko's daughter, and this adds a wonderful layer to an already rich story. I loved being immersed in the different cultures explored by Dilloway. At times, my heart went out to Shoko and the struggles she faced in trying to acclimate herself to an unfamiliar world but what I loved most about her was that she never assumed the role of victim. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE is a beautifully written story about a fascinating time in our history and the intriguing characters create a wonderfully complex and vivid portrait of Japanese-American life.
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