Jessie (Ageless Pages Reviews)'s Reviews > The Printmaker's Daughter

The Printmaker's Daughter by Katherine Govier
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Feb 25, 12

bookshelves: historical-fiction, netgalley-arc, hf-japan, arc, 2012-reviews, 2012-reads
Read from February 24 to 25, 2012

Three stars and a 'read' tag because I made it almost to 60%; it just shouldn't require this much effort to read. As is indicated by the three stars instead of a 1 or a 2 as I was tempted, there are several redeeming aspects to The Printmaker's Daughter. The relationship between Hokusai and Oei is more important and complex than any other in the novel (in fact, she defines herself by him/his work as is hinted at in the title), the city of Edo itself is vibrantly drawn and realized, from the Corner Tamaya bordellos to the markets. But on the other hand are the weird and somewhat random accents and 1990's California-valleygirl speech patterns of 1800s courtesans, the interminable stretches where nothing happens, and awkward, jarring transitions between third and first-person narration. I wanted to love this; I'm halfway there thanks to the cover alone. I may try this one again, in the final version, but the ARC I had wasn't working for me. I was entranced for 50 pages, then bored for 220 before calling it quits. Longer, disappointed diatribe to follow.
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Reading Progress

02/24/2012 page 59
12.0% ""Lookit her! She'z so, like, stiff. She'z like a lady! She'll never gedda man. No one'z ever gonna wan' her." Uh, why do these courtesans in 1800's Edo Japan sound like 1990's California valleygirls? And what is with the 'z' thing? This is driving me insane, and that's after Willo from After the Snow's crazy unusual speech pattern. I want to like this, damnit."
02/25/2012 page 122
25.0% "This improved greatly once we got away from Tamaya Court and the courtesans. Not sure the Ugara bit was necessary, but back to Edo we go."
02/25/2012 page 196
40.0% "It's both new and nice to read of a healthy and close relationship between father and daughter, and not always mother-daughter, but I wish something interesting would happen."
02/25/2012 page 233
47.0% "This book... I just... What decides the end of a 'part [x]'? Nothing is happening/ has happened of emotional weight and we're onto part five. Resisting the urge to skim. For now."
02/25/2012 page 247
50.0% "I really dislike the shift from 240 pages of first-person narrative to a random third-person omniscient for a new, unknown character. It's jarring."
02/25/2012 page 249
50.0% "This switched from the chapter in third person back to Oei's first-person for two pages and back again to the third-person omniscient in the same page. It's weird. One paragraph is, "I was astonished to be speaking Japanese with a barbarian" and, no warning the next is, "Usually the Japanese did not examine him; he examined them." What an awkward nonexistent transition between narratives."
02/25/2012 page 278
56.0% "Yeah, I'm bored and have been for a while. Added to the fact that I can tell where this 500 page clunker is going makes this slooww goiiing. I loved the first fifty pages of this, and Edo itself is wonderfully come to life, but on the whole: pass. A DNF, sadly. I made it as far as I could."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Chibineko (new)

Chibineko Seriously? This is what the author was so upset about? It's not like you're insulting them personally or anything like that!


Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) Chibineko wrote: "Seriously? This is what the author was so upset about? It's not like you're insulting them personally or anything like that!"

Right?! I've never personally attacked any author so this ones reaction seems... out of whack, definitely out of place.


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