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CompleteMartialArts.com - Bride's Kimono, The

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Manufacturer: Avon
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813
EAN: 9780061031151
ISBN: 0061031151
Label: Avon
Manufacturer: Avon
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 400
Publication Date: 2002-10-01
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: 2002-10-01
Studio: Avon

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Editorial Reviews:

Antiques dealer Rei Shimura has managed to snag one of the most lucrative and prestigious jobs of her career: a renowned museum in Washington, D.C., has invited her to exhibit rar kimonos and give a lecture on them. Accompanied by a gaggle of Japanese office ladies bent on a week of shopping, Rei lands in the capital. But her big break could ultimately break her. Within hours one of the kimonos is stolen, and then Rei's passport is discovered in a shopping mall dumpster -- on the dead body of one of the Japanese tourists. Trouble is only beginning, though, for now Rei's parents have arrived and so has her ex-boyfriend. To track down the kimono and unmask a killer, Rei's got to do some clever juggling, fast talking, and quick sleuthing, or this trip home could be her last.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Fun
Comment: I've been to Japan many times because my daughter lived there for three years. We continue to go back most years for several weeks. At the time I read this book I had read only one other book in the series. Her writing of Tokyo neighborhoods and interactions with Japanese people is so dead on accurate I find myself smiling again and again. My only disappointment with this book was that most of it takes place in the United States in Washington, DC. I live close to DC so I am pretty familiar with that location too--but I would much rather read about Japan.

I enjoyed the story, but must agree with another reviewer who thought the detective's prostitute theory was ridiculous and I agree, the giving up her two business class seats was silly too.

Another thing about the character, Rei, is that anyone who has lived in Japan as long as she has and is in business for herself should be a fluent kanji reader. In three years my daughter learned to speak fluent Japanese, read the three types of Japanese writing, and write passably well. It's sort of preposterous that any person who has been in Japan as long as she has and has a small business dealing with the Japanese hasn't made a point of learning to read. I know some people who have lived in Japan a long time and can't speak, read, or write the language--which must be very lonely--but they aren't in business.

Despite the implausability of some things I still enjoyed the book very much and look forward to more.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Starts good but ends weak
Comment: This is my first Rei Shimura novel. I understand that there are several more novels with this same protagonist but I am not sure if I will be picking them up.

The Bride's Kimono starts out with a very good premise. A priceless kimono needs to be transported and the original person to accompany and give the presentation about it cancels last minute. The call for the replacement goes to Rei Shimura, an antiques dealer who half-Japanese, half-Caucasian.

It is after the beginning that the story starts to lose steam. It isn't that the writing is bad because the writing is actually quite accessible. It is a testament to the writing style with its easygoing flow that I was able to finish the novel.

But the characters are a bit on the weak side. Rei, in particular, seemed to get flakier as the novel progressed. Her personal story with the boyfriends was distracting. Her interaction with her mother and father felt like it belonged in a Harlequin Blaze novella rather than this type of novel.

Again, the writing is good in that sense that it flows well and I wasn't looking at the time while I was reading, but the characterizations kept me from getting engrossed.

A decent book but probably worth a look at the library first before committing to buying.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Newbie to the Massey's series
Comment: This is the first one I read. I've also read Girl in A Box and The Samurai's daughter. I've read them out of order. I really do enjoy them, especially because I am a big fan of Japanese culture and enjoy mysteries.
However, sometimes I feel like I am reading Nancy Drew with a Japanese-American protagonist. Rei is an intriguing character but she doesn't seem like a normal twentysomething woman. I am in my late 20's and I really don't relate to her at all. I wonder how old Massey is. She seems like she is trying really hard to make Rei "cool" by name dropping bands and brands. Rei is so computer illiterate but she has an iPOD? Vintage Talbots? How is that fashionable? The inconsistencies in the book are annoying but not enough to stop me from continuing to read them. Hopefully in order!

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Not bad but not great.
Comment: Kudos to Ms. Massey for her detailed research into the history of Kimonos. I found it fascinating and well done. If only she had been half as diligent in her research on Washington DC, it would have made for a much more compelling read. For example, there are no video surveillance cameras on the metro, the Asian Reading Room in the Library of Congress only provides Asian language books. Any book in english would have been in the main reading room and it would take quite awhile to obtain the book, etc.

She really seems to work mostly in stereotypes and doesn't seem to provide any real depth to any of her characters. There are so many implausible plot points, many of them that were left unanswered and also leaving us with no clue as to why there were there in the first place. I would elaborate on specific issues but do not want to give away any of the plot. Also, she likes to throw red herrings all over the place, simply for the sake of throwing us off the scent, and not for any real story moving reason. It just got annoying. Finally, when we were heading towards the denouement, it picked up a real rushed feeling and everything was resolved neatly, but not in a way that I found satisfying. The villian was fairly obvious early on despite all her bad red herrings.

I'm going to read another one of her books simply because what she did well in this book was worth giving another of her books another chance. ANd that was her ability to bring Japanese culture to exciting life.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Painful existence of konketsujin=rude for half blood person
Comment: This 5th volume in the Rei Shimura series has fascinating detail about the many types of kimono, undergarments, appropriate use and the difficulty in dressing.

Rei Shimura 29yo antiques dealer from Tokyo, her blond blue eyed interior decorator mom and Japanese psychiatrist father reaffirm family no matter the complexion amidst murder involving a stolen antique wedding kimono, a Uchikake.

The poignancy of Rei's life as not quite Japanese, not quite American, always feeling misunderstood, demeaned, denigrated for not being quite either is touching.

Her spirited attempts to rebuff both Japanese and American perceived slights, misconstrued interpersonal signals, are all tied to her ethnic identity and expectations confusion. Rei's impulsive gestures of self protection, compassion and passion lead to unintended (usually adverse) consequences, including murder, being mistaken as thief and prostitute.

Rei's emotional intensity, sexuality, strong willed behavior are inherited from a mother who flew in the face of convention to marry a Japanese man. Reserve, a sense of shame when addressed with rude verb forms or appellations not normally spoken aloud, and the need to restore honor, family, security, safety are the legacy of a Japanese psychiatrist father.

Somehow in each book of the series (this is the 5th) the yin yang of honor and shame are played out in the public eye, the murders so notorious that Rei appears in the media misportrayed as a lady of the floating world. On the Asian side one feels her humiliation, shame, on the American side one feels her indignation, anger, desire to do something to make it right. . . an impulse which often goes awry.

The emotions of the half blood children of many wars, occupations, their exclusion from polite society, rejection as appropriate candidates for marriage, are well carved as Rei is abandoned by Scotch boyfriend Hugh in the first book The Salaryman's Wife, and in Bride's Kimono rejected by her boy friend Takeo's family.

For this alone the series is worth examining if you have any interest in the loss of dignity and self which comes from prejudice, subtle or overt.

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