[Review] “The Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka

The Buddha in the Attic is a unique book — there is no single perspective or central cast of characters. Instead, we get to experience the lives of Japanese mail-order brides from their ship voyages to America till the second World War and their experiences of internment. The prose is extremely lyrical, with gems like “And so we learned to think twice before saying yes and looking into another man’s eyes, because in America you got nothing for free.” Though I was apprehensive about the writing style (in the anonymised plural perspective) at first, it soon grew on me.