Shizuko's Daughter Shizuko's Daughter

Shizuko's Daughter Shizuko's Daughter

by Kyoko Mori
     
 

"Lyrical...A beautifully written book about a bitterly painful coming of age."
THE KIRKUS REVIEWS
Yuki Okuda knows her mother would be proud of her grades and her achievements in sports if she were alive. But she committed suicide. And Yuki has to learn how to live with a father who doesn't seem to love her and a stepmother who treats her badly. Most… See more details below

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Overview

"Lyrical...A beautifully written book about a bitterly painful coming of age."
THE KIRKUS REVIEWS
Yuki Okuda knows her mother would be proud of her grades and her achievements in sports if she were alive. But she committed suicide. And Yuki has to learn how to live with a father who doesn't seem to love her and a stepmother who treats her badly. Most important, she has to learn how to live with herself: a twelve-year-old Japanese girl growing up alone, trying to make sense of a tragedy that makes no sense at all....\

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this quietly moving novel--the first of the publisher's multicultural imprint--Mori poetically conveys the sentiments of an Asian girl who has lost her mother to suicide. Only a year afer Shizuko's death, Yuki's father marries the woman with whom he has been having a long-term affair. Deeply resentful of both her father and his bride, Yuki feels uncomfortable at home, which has been redecorated to suit her new stepmother's tastes. Running long distances and painting pictures that preserve memories of happier times are the only ways the girl is able to find consolation. Throughout this story, set in Kobe, Japan and spanning seven years, the author shows how Yuki's visions, attitudes and achievements are influenced by her mother's tragedy. Although most of the narrative is written from the protagonist's point of view, the thoughts of other characters (Yuki's father, stepmother and grandparents) are also depicted in brief yet perceptive segments. A cast of three- dimensional characters, keen imagery and attention to detail produce an emotionally and culturally rich tale tracing the evolution of despair into hope. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)\
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-- Shizuko kills herself, escaping a soured marriage, leaving her husband free to marry his mistress of eight years, and having vague ideas about making her daughter's life better. Yuki, 12, now faces a bleak world with a stepmother who tries to eradicate all traces of her predecessor and curtail the girl's visits to her mother's family. Her father is distant, taciturn, and guilt ridden, providing neither the support Yuki needs nor the discipline the stepmother wants him to exercise over the girl. Most of all, Yuki must cope with the loss of her mother and piece together some meaning for her death and ultimately for her life. Through strength and independence, Yuki comes to grips with her mother's memory, deals with her own current plight, and makes plans for the future. Readers leave her in college after a painful and poignant maturing. Mori's beautiful and sensitive prose evokes a world of pungent memories and harsh realities. Communication between characters often reflects the vagueness of language favored by the Japanese, pointing up Yuki's bluntness with great skill. Despite moments of warmth and humor and sharp insights into human motivations, Shizuko's Daughter is more often bleak, sad, and sometimes grim. Graceful in style, a tad grizzly in plot, and rather adult in tone, it is nonetheless a worthwhile novel about a resilient young woman's coming of age. --John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library\
Janice Del Negro
Yuki is 12 when her mother, Shizuko, commits suicide, leaving Yuki to a distant father and a self-serving stepmother. Forbidden by custom from seeing her mother's family, Yuki is left to fend for herself; and she does, falling back on the artistic talent she inherited from her mother. After an adolescence spent in protective, self-imposed, and largely unchallenged isolation, Yuki rises from her mother's ashes, leaving her father's house in Kobe to study art in Nagasaki, and taking her first steps toward a productive adulthood. A plot summation cannot convey Mori's accomplishment--her language and imagery evoke the beautiful and sometimes stifling sense of order that pervades Yuki's life. The harmony and tyranny of tradition are both present, made concrete by the comparison between the reverent home of Yuki's maternal grandparents and the sterile house so assiduously cleaned by her stepmother. Custom is both venerable and comforting, but Mori warns against its confinement in controlled, poetically crafted prose that is ultimately affirming. Mori has a fine eye for details that illuminate temperament and motivation, and her characters, especially Yuki, are well-realized and clearly drawn.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780785728535
Publisher:
Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date:
05/28/1994
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
4.34(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.87(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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