How to Be an American Housewife

Dilloway, Margaret

  9 Reviews

Armed with little more than a handbook entitled How to be an American Housewife, Japanese warbride Shoko Morgan can hardly wait to reach California. But decades later when she is finally ready to return home to Japan and make peace with her family, it's not to be. Instead she sends her daughter Suiko (Sue) and grand-daughter Helena who discover a world and a culture as foreign to them as the one Shoko had encountered on her arrival in USA.

A charming and poignant story featuring family, forgiveness and foreign shores.

Comments from Groups

Wonderful book. Auckland 038

All the members who read this book enjoyed it and found it easy to read. Christchurch 050

A good interesting read. Christchurch 312

An easy read, but provoked lengthy discussion. Interesting traditions in pre and post-war Japan. Tauranga 004

All enjoyed the book. We liked the language and the story. Very vivid on how it must have been for mixed marriages post WW II. Huntly 001

Great read, insightful, thought-provoking and generally a great read which all the group enjoyed with a great discussion afterwards. Hamilton 047

Most of us enjoyed this book even though several commented that they didn't really like any of the characters. The cross-cultural context gave us plenty of conversation points. Auckland 107



CHCH 113
Everyone enjoyed the book and appreciated a 'lighter read' that they were able to finish in time for the meeting! The book note questions prompted a lot of discussion on cultural norms, and on the difficulties any of us would have in trying to assimilate to a completely different culture with its 'rules' and expectations.
CHCH 397
Everyone really enjoyed it!
RICH 001
We all enjoyed reading this book, and felt it was far more complex with its issues than it seemed at first. It looked like an easy pleasant read, but had hidden depths.
Although one member of our group was scathing about the term 'American Housewife', we all enjoyed reading this book. It was enlightening about some aspects of Japanese culture and people's attitudes to someone from a different country.
We all found this an 'easy read' but otherwise not very compelling. The cultural differences were of interest and generated discussion of personal experiences.
CHCH 091
Our group enjoyed this book - an easy read. We had an interesting exchange of views over what life is like for a female in Japan, and also the importance and treatment of male children.
WELL 093
Learning about the cultural differences was thought-provoking.
NEWP 012
Everyone enjoyed the book, an easy and interesting read.
We had a really good discussion - it helped that we retold the story to a member who had been unable to read it, a worthwhile strategy. The writing style was excellent - all in all a very worthwhile read, with a satisfying ending.