4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Last Concubine (Paperback)I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. At first I started to read it because of the reviews refering to a romance between court lady Sachi(the last concubine of the Shogun) and ronin samurai Shinzaemon.
However this romance was very understated, as in the Japan of the 1860's there was not even a word for romantic love as we know it.You felt affection for your parents,respect for your wife, and lust for courtesans so the romantic love and passion that was a feature of the West was regarded as an affliction that usually led to death in the Japan of that time.
Those reviewers who described this book as being like a"Mills & Boon" book have obviously not read a Mills & Boon book lately.In Last Concubine there were no sex scenes, no overt avowals of love; just meaningful glances and bits of poetry.
Where this book really scores is in the depiction of the court life of the ladies of the Shogun. The scents, clothes, rituals,calligraphy,are all sumptiously described.
I don't know how accurate the historical events surrounding the story are but they seem well researched and to that extent are informative about a period in Japan that I knew nothing about.
I thought it was a good read