In eight incantatory sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the picture brides’ extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war.
This insomniac's opinion:
This novel is written in first person plural. I'm fairly sure that this is the first novel I have ever read that is written in such a way and it cannot be an easy style to pull off. However, Julie Otsuka has written a stunningly beautiful novel that reminds us that this harrowing journey was not taken by a single, solitary women but a myriad of brave individuals. I think this novel is truly a masterpiece. It is a very short read and is well worth taking the time to read it.
Worth staying up all night to read?
Yes, and it is short enough that you can still fit in a good night's rest!