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How to Be an American Housewife: A Novel
     

How to Be an American Housewife: A Novel

3.9 82
by Margaret Dilloway
 

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How to Be an American Housewife is a novel about mothers and daughters and the pull of tradition. It tells the story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue

Overview

How to Be an American Housewife is a novel about mothers and daughters and the pull of tradition. It tells the story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue to go in her place. The trip reveals family secrets that change their lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways.

Offering an entertaining glimpse into American and Japanese family lives and their potent aspirations, this is a warm and engaging novel full of unexpected insight.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Margaret Dilloway is wise and ironic. She has created wonderful characters who never, in spite of hardships, stop finding ways to love each other." ---Luanne Rice, author of The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400167739
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
08/05/2010
Edition description:
MP3 - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Margaret Dilloway is wise and ironic. She has created wonderful characters who never, in spite of hardships, stop finding ways to love each other." —-Luanne Rice, author of The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners

Meet the Author

Margaret Dilloway was inspired by her Japanese mother's experiences when she wrote her novel How to Be an American Housewife.

Laural Merlington has recorded well over one hundred audiobooks and has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including one for Never Say Die by Susan Jacoby.

Emily Durante has been narrating audiobooks for over ten years and is also an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning audiobook director. She has been acting since the age of seven and has performed in a number of stage productions at the professional, collegiate, and regional levels.

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How to Be an American Housewife 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Besides being a brilliant story, I now see how important it is to notice women who are "invisible," the ones who are different, yet part of the landscape, and to remember that acceptance is one of the best gifts one woman can offer to another.
Twink More than 1 year ago
How to be an American Housewife is the debut novel of author Margaret Dilloway. We meet Shoko and her American husband Charlie in their retirement years. Shoko is Japanese born, but married Charlie at the end of the war. She survived the bombing of Nagasaki, but her heart has been affected. As her future is not certain, she decides it is time to deal with the past at last. In the first part of the book, through flashbacks and memories, we learn of Shoko's childhood, her dreams, her secrets and what reality, her parents and society dictated she must do. She is estranged from her brother Taro, having neither seen nor spoken to him for the 50 years she has lived in the States. Unable to make the trip, she asks her daughter Sue to make the trip for her. Sue agrees and takes along her teenage daughter Helena. Their trip is the focus of the second part of the book. Every chapter in the book is prefaced by an excerpt from a fictional book called 'How to Be an American Housewife'. Some of the excerpts are downright funny, but some are heartbreaking. An early one reads - "When you marry and integrate with Americans, it is only natural not to have friends. Most American women will dislike you. Perhaps looking for other Japanese women will be possible, but probably not. Expect to be alone much of the time. Children help relieve this melancholy." Shoko's life in America is very much different - the food, the language, the customs and so much more. With political sentiment running high, she is never really accepted. Shoko stays true to herself though, coming up with some truly memorable lines... "I kept my head high and said Hello! It didn't matter whether peple said hello back or not. I was holding up my end. What they did was their own business." Shoko's son Mike and daughter Sue also find acceptance difficult as they are 'mixed.' Charlie is truly a 'good guy' though. I wish more of his feelings and thoughts had been explored as well as those of Mike. But the true focus of the book is the relationship between mothers and daughters - Shoko and her mother, Shoko and Sue, Sue and Helena. Shoko did not agree with the path laid out for her but acquiesced to her parent's wishes. Sue finally has the opportunity to discover and explore her heritage. As the youngest generation, Helena shines with her acceptance of everyone and everything. Dilloway's personal story is what made this debut novel such a poignant read. Dilloway's own mother was a Japanese war bride who did pass away from heart related illness. The fictionalized how to manual is based upon a book her father gave her mother to help her with her new life. I wonder how much of Sue is from Margaret's own life. An impressive debut from a new voice - I look forward to her next novel.
SDBRR More than 1 year ago
Great book! Charming and rich characters and an interesting story. This book kept me engaged the whole way through. I couldn't wait to pick up the book each night to see hos things were going to unfold. I would recommend! This would make an excellent choice for a book club.
Sweet-n-Sassy1 More than 1 year ago
I Throughly Enjoyed Reading This Book! It Was Hard To Put It Down. Written By A Gifted Writer! Ms. Dilloway Was Gracious Enough To Do An Interview (via Skype) With Our Book Club! Thank You Ms. Dilloway .... And We Look Forward To Reading Your Upcoming Novel. Sure To Be A Bestseller!
jessie2 More than 1 year ago
Crosses generations and goes back and forth between the US and Japan during these generations. the characters are all likeable, the story is great, the writing is excellent and I really enjoyed this book. One of the best I have read this year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't get enough of Japanese culture, for one. For two, this is a well written and entertaining novel about a mother and daighter. Win, win, win.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Holleyhock More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It made me think and reflect about my own family. My father was in WW II and my Uncle visited Nakasaki after the bomb - it hits close to home in that way. And I would agree with what some of the other's wrote ... just what is American? Everyone is so different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nuee More than 1 year ago
The guide for being an American wife in each chapter is a great guide to reading the book. "Don't slurp noodles" made me laugh until I read WHY noodles are slurped. (Why did I nag my children about that?) I enjoyed the book and sadness for Shoko stays with me. I did find her husband a bit too good to be true.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sephranix More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book for a number of reasons, the writing style, the story content, the history behind it... If you are considering it, go ahead and get it. It's a quick read that manages to move you emotionally.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book,very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two2dogs More than 1 year ago
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK, COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN, THE MOTHER DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP BROUGHT SO MANY MEMORIES ABOUT MY MOTHER AND MY FEELINGS GROWING UP. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK, IT WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH AND CRY.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading