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Memoirs of an American Housewife in Japan

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Read the review of Pauline's book:


By Pauline Hager

Infinity, 519West Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041-1413,, 2002, ISBN: 0-7414-0747-7, 237 pp., USA $ 14.95

Very Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Liana Metal


Pauline Hager, holder of a degree in Education and mother of two sons, lived in Japan for two and a half years when her husband Randy was offered a position there.  Her life in Japan was a challenge as she had to confront traditions and customs very different from the ones she was used to.


MEMOIRS OF AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE IN JAPAN is actually a travel account of the author who explored a new place and is able now to let us know of all the pros and cons of that country.  Japan, in the eyes of Pauline Hager, is a place the Westerns may find intriguing, yet difficult to get accustomed to at first. 


The book is divided into three parts, each one dealing with a different period of Pauline’s visit to Japan. Part 1 is about the first visit of the Hagers there in 1994, Part 2 focuses on the years 1994 to 1996, while Part 3 tells about their revisit in 1997.  All parts are highly exciting to read if the readers are not familiar with the Japanese way of life and customs.  Pauline’s detailed description of their whereabouts, the food at the local market, the neighborhood, the shops and a lot of other daily life details will leave the reader satisfied.  The reader will get the feeling that he/she is actually there experiencing Japan first hand.  At the back of the book there is a black and white photo collection depicting Pauline and her new friends.


MEMOIRS OF AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE IN JAPAN is the travel book that will entertain the readers as well as educate them. The experiences of the author in Japan and the way they are displayed project this book as a very different ‘memoirs’ book from all the other in the market, that would fit the genre of a ‘travel guide to Japan’ rather than just a mere memoirs book. Of course, the reader can only ‘see’ Japan through the eyes of the author, but doesn’t the same thing happen more or less  in a travel guide?


This book caters to all travel book lovers, and to a female readership most of all as it focuses on things women notice everywhere, such as food and housekeeping, social relations and shopping.  It is entertaining to read and quite absorbing.  Readers will get to know about Japan and the local lifestyle.  Many will probably be motivated to visit Japan, and those who can not, will taste Pauline’s experiences through the book.

It is a good read and I recommend it to all!


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