Book Review: Memoirs of a Geisha

cover1When I first got into this book I knew it was going to be amazing because of all the reviews and how popular it had been for years. I grew up never watching the movie and only hearing about it occasionally but I never got the chance to actually know anything much about the story itself.

Now that I finally read it I thought it was amazing and deserve all the hype it has gotten. For starters I have been quite familiar with a small amount of Japanese culture before, which made the story even more interesting to me. And to be honest the culture and the history that surrounds the story was what really intrigued me and made the book better for me.

Of course I do really like the characters, especially Chiyo. I thought she was a great narrator, although I had some reservations about her narrating the story because I kind of thought it would be better if it was in third person point of view (but then again it is called ‘memoirs of a geisha’, so it wouldn’t really be called a memoir if it was written in a third person POV).

The plot itself was, I had to admit, quite slow. The childhood and young part of her life wasn’t as interesting as the older part of her life, but what made me really like the whole part was her relationship with the other characters. Although I expected more interactions between her and, say the Aunt or Hatsumomo or Pumpkin, I really liked her relationship with all of them.
Then it became more interesting when Chiyo actually became a geisha. But also during this part of the story I sort of expected her to describe more people, more men and more occasions where she’d tell us more about how geishas actually operate and work. But I really enjoyed her experiences.

And the next-to-last parts of the story when things got more interesting was great as well. I liked the little plot twist between Pumpkin and Satsu and everything that happened, it made the story more exciting.

Trying to avoid any spoilers, the last parts of the book wasn’t like what I expected. The ending wasn’t what I wanted from the everything that happened in the book, but overall this was a beautiful story, I love all the information I learned from it, and it has great writing style with beautiful descriptions and it was a very enjoyable book.

Book Info

Title: Memoirs of a Geisha
Author: Arthur Golden
Publisher: Vintage Books
Publishing date: January 1st 1999
Format: Paperback
Num of pages: 434

4 stars




  1. I’ve been looking for a review for this book that shows not just pros or just cons, but both. I like that you were completely honest about what you liked and didn’t like. I’m definitely going to read the book now because, like you, I’ve only seen the movie and I’m terribly curious about Japanese culture especially after studying the language! That part of the review sold it for me.


    1. Thank you so much! You should definitely read the book, and if you are interested on reading more of my reviews, you can just subscribe to the blog 🙂 Thank you for dropping by.


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