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Old 03-11-2015, 12:00 PM   #18
sun surfer
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: on down from the bridge
Device: kindle voyage
Well, I'm only four years late to the party but I finally finished the book this year!

Hamlet, you really hit it out of the ballpark with this choice - I think it was a masterpiece. So much so that I really think it should be more famous as a world literature classic than it currently is. Needless to say, I loved it. In particular the descriptions, especially of landscapes and grounds, were so rich, vivid and lush that I was enchanted, and the delicate and subtle nuances of character personality were really wonderful.

I was very surprised while reading about the author after finishing the book. A dramatic ritual suicide after an unsuccessful coup d'etat? Wow!

There is apparently a Japanese film version of the book, but I don't see that's it's ever been released for an English-speaking audience. It's too bad as I'd be very interested in it.

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Originally Posted by paola View Post
I am really very very late...
Heh, you have nothing on me.

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it si not easy to understand where the love is springing from, at least in the case of Satoko: what did she find in Kyoiaki beyond beauty? Just the capricious broodyness of a morose teenager? That I found difficult to understand.
I didn't find it difficult. As you mentioned he was exceptionally beautiful. Beauty can lay havoc to rationality. Also, she seemed to lead a pretty reclusive life by convention; with fewer opportunities to meet others her hormones had to make do with what was accessible to her. And I think she was attracted to his haughtiness and cockiness and as you mentioned his broodiness; some people can't help but be attracted to such things. Love and attraction work in mysterious ways and for whatever reason she was caught.

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And why does not Kiyo look for Tadeshina to find answers? After Satoko's departure, he is completely self absorbed and almost takes pleasure in self pity - he thinks of disasters and wars that could come and shatetr the situation, but only very late in the day resolves to do something about it.
My feeling is he definitely took pleasure in self-pity. He also seemed to have the personality trait of waiting, sometimes until the last possible minute, before doing things and then throwing his entire energy and enthusiasm into them. I think he liked the surge of adrenaline of knowing that he had to finally do something right then or else he'd fail at or lose whatever it was.

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I also very much enjoyed the "background" - the relationship between the Ayakuras and the Matsugaes, the old and the new, but also the relationship between hte masters and their servants, some of which are essential for the actual survival of the family. I only just finished the book, so need to sleep on it, but really cannot wait to read the other three.
I agree, and itís interesting to me to compare and contrast this to a classic English novel featuring the rich and their servants.

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Originally Posted by paola View Post
damn - I bought the rest of the series a couple of weeks ago!

/perhaps we could have a mini group read if we coordinate, though I am not yet done with last March selection
Where do I sign up?
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