As I was reading this book, I found “Memoirs of a Geisha” and this book very similar. Not only because they have the same setting, but in the way that those two portray two very similar characters; two beautiful women who were sold by their parents for wealth and fortune, but not because they wanted to, one becoming a Geisha and one becoming a mistress. The only thing that differentiates those two characters is that Geisha in “Memoirs of a Geisha” is really different from the mistress in “The wild geese”; the way they are being treated and what they do.
Now, back to “The wild geese” – Otama, learning that her new husband is an usurer, considered as a disgraceful job in Japan, Otama becomes overwhelmed with turmoil, and she goes through a dilemma, whether to tell his father or not, for she is ashamed, marrying a usurer, yet she does not want to spoil any of her father’s happiness. She views any sort of bad news as a kind of poison, and “she didn’t want to pour a drop of poison into the sake cup he [her father] held in his hand.”
As I was reading, the book reminded me of “Their Eyes were watching God”, a novel I read recently (I will post a review on it later on this blog). Otama, who was forced to marry the usurer to fulfil her father’s happiness and will, feels oppressed and unhappy about the marriage for the fact that she couldn’t fulfil her own view on marriage and her view on romance. I could relate this to Janie in “Their Eyes were watching God” – who was also forced to marry a rich man called Logan Killicks, just because her grandmother thought she needed materialistic stability and wealth, more than to fulfil her romance she thought of, and the expectations of a good, lovely marriage. Janie, later on, perceives that her love is more important than a materialistic, cold-hearted marriage, and runs away from her husband to find her ideal husband. Can Otama relate to this and run off to marry her ideal husband against her father’s will and the guilt culture in Japan, called Hajji?
I will be updating you on this novel as soon as I finish this book. Stay tuned!