Kelly's Reviews > How to Be an American Housewife

How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway
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's review
Sep 18, 2011

liked it
Read on September 18, 2011 — I own a copy

I think this was more of a 3.5. It was really hard for me to decide on a rating because even after reading the book I couldn't really decide if I had liked the book or not.

In all, it was a really easy read. From the beginning it was hard to put the book down once I started.

That said, Dilloway did a beautiful job in keeping her readers captivated with the mother-daughter relationship between Sue and Shoko and taking us into the lives of the Japanese during WWII. It is hard to imagine just how devastating the atomic bombs had left Japanese lives.

The "How to be an American Housewife" guide included in a few pages of the book was pretty funny but I can see how Shoko read the book religiously and was determined to follow it through. There's only so much you could do when you have nothing else to help you into another culture.

Now, why I can't decide on liking the book or not. Some parts of the book actually really seemed stereotypical and made it hard for me to believe a Japanese woman was really going through certain situations. And the mother-daughter relationship was a little hard to really get into- it almost felt like there were 4 people involved. I feel like Dilloway WAS trying to create 2 characters similar but not the same as her and her mother's story but somehow ended up mixing herself into the characters she created. Not sure if that made sense but somehow at times you can feel a character clash (the ones she created and the person she is).

Overall, it's a good book and definitely worth reading.
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