Most helpful critical review
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A very average novel- disappointing for Downer
on 7 April 2010
After reading Lesley Downer's other works, I found the Courtesan and the Samurai rather disappointing. The novel isn't bad- it's clearly been well researched and there are some exciting parts, but to me, the storyline seemed weak and the characters and certain plots weren't as well developed as they could have been. My main criticism is that the novel felt rather rushed or a bit too sparse- there was a lot of potential there and aspects I would have liked to hear more about. Leads and suggestions in the story were dropped with little or no resolution, and the relationship between Hana and Yozo began unconvincingly quickly, which lessened the emotional impact later in the book. Unfortunately, Downer's fiction does not match the standard of her factual works, but thankfully her knowledge of Japan saves what would otherwise be a rather dire read.