This is one of the better books I have read in a good while, and I have to admit, it was with trepidation that I stepped into the first page. When I got this book it was in the middle of enjoying it's paparazzi stalked, flashbulb and microphone-stuck-in-the-face 15 min of heady literary stardom. That alone is usually enough to put me off reading a book. I know that sounds trite, but I hate discussing books at that moment in their life, when the frenzy is on and everyone is frothing at the mouth just slightly.
Needless to say, I loved it. I was drawn in and the world was painted with heavy, bold strokes of lacquer red and creamy silk and was slightly raucous in a good way, as if I were shopping in a Thai open-air market in full swing. The scenes wherein Emiko came to the front were as precise and artful as a geisha. It was gorgeous.
As a strange aside, when I was reading the book, rambutan had just come into season where I live in Puerto Rico. They are referred to by their Thai name, ngaw, in the book. It was just one of those strange coincidences that just makes you stop and think, "Wha?" I bought two pounds of the delicious things and went home and felt like I was Anderson myself, just come from the Thai market with a bag of mysterious ngaw in hand.