Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Book Review: Asa Nonami, Now You're One of Us (1993)

I file this one under noir because it is the story of a helpless soul not unlike what one might find in Gil Brewer or Cornell Woolrich. But rather than a weak man against an Evil Woman (as in Brewer) or a powerless man (or woman) against Implacable Fate (as in Woolrich), here we have a woman (a new bride) against a traditional, multigenerational Japanese family, and it is this added cultural dimension that makes this book more than just another trip around the same old block (Rosemary's Baby, Rebecca, etc). Appreciation of this novel requires at least a bit of knowledge about the history of the Ie system of families in Japan; otherwise readers may find the apprehensions and behaviors of the protagonist more inscrutable than they ought to be. Grade: B

1 comment:

  1. What I know of Japanese culture comes mainly from Samurai movies, but this sounds pretty danged interesting.