Ok, so I finally got round to finishing my book, ‘The Courtesan and the Samurai’ by Lesley Downer which is what I’d chosen for my historical fiction. It took me a good 5 weeks to get through this book – not that it wasn’t a decent read, it was more that I wasn’t in the mood to read this particular book at this particular time.
It’s set in the late 1860’s when the Northern Japanese go to war with their Southern counterparts after the death of their shogun. The book centres around Hana a young Japanese woman who’s cruel, loveless husband is sent off to fight when war breaks out.
Hana is forced from her home and sets off to Yoshiwara where she hopes she’ll be safe, but with no money it isn’t long before Hana is forced to become a courtesan.
Yozo is a young well-travelled Japanese soldier fighting for the North but when his army is defeated he too finds himself in Yoshiwara where his path crosses with the beautiful courtesan Hana.
I read ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ years ago and thought it was quite similar so if you enjoyed that I’m sure you’ll enjoy ‘The Courtesan and the Samurai’. I found it an extremely well-researched book with a lot of facts interwoven through the story.