Thursday, January 22, 2009

Losing Kei by Suzanne Kamata

Title: Losing Kei
Author: Suzanne Kamata
ISBN: 9780972898492
Publisher: Leapfrog Press/2007
Pages: 193

A painter Jill Parker goes to Japan after she loses out in love. She is, in a way emulating Blondelle Malone, a late–19th-century South Carolina artist who had gone to Japan.

Jill chooses to live in a small island, where there are very few foreigners apart from Eric, who is a surfer. He gets her a job of a hostess in a seedy place. Meanwhile she meets a Japanese gallery owner Yusuke Yamashiro who offers a show for her. Eventually they fall in love and get married. She has to live with her in laws and tries to be a Japanese housewife as best as she can. However, she resents it after a while as her mother in law is not ready to give up her power. Now Jill has no interest in painting.

Jill gives birth to a son, Kei. That does not make her place in the household any better. However, she leaves Yusuke one day and files for divorce. But Kei is lost to her. The laws are such that, she has no rights over her son. Jill tries to cope up with it but she also has financial constraints to fight it legally.

This book made an interesting read. It talks about the problems a person faces in a foreign land. How the laws act against that person. Is that person able to cope or give it all away? Why is fitting in all this so difficult? Kamata has taken in account of it all and written a good book. Thanks to the author for sending me the book.