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This was an interesting story but did not invoke as much emotion as I was expecting. The end was very dry and anti-climatic.
Would have made an interesting story in more capable hands.
I just finished this book for our book discussion group and I thought it was an excellent story. While the author claims it to be fictional, it is obviously based on the Imperial family. I agree with "pokano" that the two young commoner women who married into the imperial family only to lose their spirits is a very sad thing. What could be worse than marrying into a European royal family? Marrying into the Japanese imperial family!
The author candidly admits that the Japanese Imperial Family was the inspiration for this novel but claims the book is solely fiction. Ha! I'll bet nearly everything in the book except for the ending has a basis in fact. The Imperial Household has basically driven two exceptional women nuts and this is the story of how it was done. Very interesting book.
Crisp language, but too devoid of emotion. The plot jumped too much and the pace varied too much as well.
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