The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An extraordinary tale - I was hypnotized by Haruko and her daughter-in-law, each who chose a certain kind of captivity. Chose it! Oh, and fame and fortune, too. But, that bondage.
Superbly written. I have only just discovered John Burnham Schwartz and, boy, I feel lucky.
The attention to authentic details of royal rituals and post WWII realities truly transport the reader to a strange land at a strange time; this is captivating.
Chapter by chapter, the reader experiences life through a royal family lens and watches the souls of these women being put through a blender, albeit a royal one. Combined with an awareness of the year (on the calendar) it boggles the modern mind. Their pain speaks to all that they have lost, but it also speaks to all that any woman loses as her life and her sacrifices march through the decades, indifferent to the dreams she held high in younger years. Finally, it holds a message of hope. Things can and things do change.
This book is a true gem.
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