5.0 out of 5 stars Massey Comes into Her Own
With this fifth in the delightful Rei Shimura series, author Sujata Massey shows a new assurance, and new skills at weaving intricate plots in a deceptively simple manner.
Here, for the first time, the reader is given the wonderful treat of meeting Rei's parents--her hopelessly shopaholic American mother, and her Japanese-born psychiatrist father, who still holds on to...
Published on July 10 2003 by Wendy Kaplan
3.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing read
A well-crafted suspense story revolving around Sujata's protagonist ReiShimura. I do not read fiction often, but this book was a racy, intelligently written story. The allure in the Rei-series is the characterisation and plot structure. On that count, Bride's kimono does not disappoint. The background on which the story is based is Kimono's and the musueum politics...
Published on April 2 2003 by Raja Mannar
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4.0 out of 5 stars my favorite,
By A Customer
This review is from: Bride's Kimono (Mass Market Paperback)I read all of the series and I liked this one most. To me, everything was packed in this book. Romance, mistery, thrills and cultural history of Japanese people at the time.
I closed my eyes and turned the book down when Rei was caught snooping around the hotel room of Hugh's associate. I felt like I was there being caught of the act. I liked the story of the missing kimono, which Rei unfolded as she searched for it. As for romance, if you do not like Rei's ex-boyfriend Hugh, you probably don't like what happen or dislike him more for what he did.
4.0 out of 5 stars Hurrah! a new viewpoint to Washington DC!,
This review is from: Bride's Kimono (Mass Market Paperback)I so enjoy this series. As usual, this would make another good installment of a "Chungking Express"-style movie--I would so love to see that director make this into a film. Hip, funky, modern.
I can relate to Rei, as sometimes things come out of her mouth that she should not say....It's like a slow-motion car wreck....
The victim was treated as sooo disposable.
RE: The train video: in the real world, that would've leaked to the press and overwhelmed all other details of her innocence or her work...
Takeo has an out-of-character behavior, that I didn't see coming as a so-called cultured, sophisticated Fortune 500 "playboy"...the only way I could justify it is if he'd been raised as a god by a male-as-god society, which could be anywhere, even my "Small Football town".
Hugh didn't get the punishment that he really deserved for running out on her, but overall, I think he cared more, based on this and previous books, than Takeo.
Hugh has a more approachable sincere personality, whereas Takeo cares about the environment and ickily obsessed with cleanliness (based on other books too) in a sort of praying-mantis way. I think Takeo has a hard time thinking about women's feelings, and would make a safer bet as a friend, but not nearly as self-sacrificing as Richard, her flamboyant friend in Tokyo. Too bad he doesn't get involved in more shenanigans.
The two cousins dating? Hmmmm, Interesting, kinda wierd, kinky.....
Finally, her parents are in this book.. They are cool and fun, I can see where her spunk comes from. It was hilarious when her parents were dealing with her romantic escapades, "only trying to help" but driving her nuts... Hilarious! My dad would've had a stroke.
5.0 out of 5 stars Massey Comes into Her Own,
This review is from: Bride's Kimono (Mass Market Paperback)With this fifth in the delightful Rei Shimura series, author Sujata Massey shows a new assurance, and new skills at weaving intricate plots in a deceptively simple manner.
Here, for the first time, the reader is given the wonderful treat of meeting Rei's parents--her hopelessly shopaholic American mother, and her Japanese-born psychiatrist father, who still holds on to some of his old-fashioned Asian ways. The parents are so much fun, they almost detract from the story at hand: Rei has been chosen to accompany a priceless collection of kimono from Japan to a prestigious museum in Washington, D.C. It's a job that not only pays well, but will ensure Rei's reputation in the rarified world of antiques in which she works.
But--Rei being Rei--she is no sooner on American soil than things go from bad to worse, from a murder to a shocking theft to her own horrible encounter with the Washington police--where they accuse her of being a prostitute!
As Rei tries to solve the murder, retrieve the stolen artifact, deal with her overprotective parents and complete her lectures at the museum, she also finds herself overcome by a love interest she thought she had forgotten. All of this makes for fascinating reading, especially the detailed explanation of the ritual adornment of the kimono, whose every fold and tie holds a deep meaning.
As with the other four books in this series, I could hardly put "The Bride's Kimono" down, and felt a keen sense of loss when I finished the last page. I sincerely hope that Ms. Massey continues this series for some time to come!
3.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing read,
This review is from: Bride's Kimono (Mass Market Paperback)A well-crafted suspense story revolving around Sujata's protagonist ReiShimura. I do not read fiction often, but this book was a racy, intelligently written story. The allure in the Rei-series is the characterisation and plot structure. On that count, Bride's kimono does not disappoint. The background on which the story is based is Kimono's and the musueum politics. Sujata has obviously done enough homework to fill pages of description on the kimonos without boring even a lay reader who is not inclined to read anything sartorial. There are enough sub plots in Bride's kimono - Rei's love life with her two boyfriends (Hugh makes a comeback here), her companion's disappearance, the lost kimono, the musuem poltics, the cops, the embassy folks, her parents and ofcourse her exhibition in the museum. The characters, tricky situations keeps piling on keeping the story moving at a fast pace. Unlike many other pulp suspense stories, there is some substance here - it is not just murder or sex- the author takes care to linger on describing the elegance of the Kimonos, their backgrounds; and also makes social observations on the American and Japanese behaviour. The hordes of Japanese tourists piling for a shopping binge is true. So is the description of the chaotic DC roads.
I am giving it three stars , not because it was not a rewarding read. On the contrary, i could not wait till i completed it and would strongly recommend it to folks who have read Rei's previous "adventures". This book loses points because there is a feeling of being shortchanged when the denoument is known.
3.0 out of 5 stars Intense to pretense,
This review is from: Bride's Kimono (Mass Market Paperback)An expatriate American antiques dealer is given the chance of her life to return, for pay, to the United States as a guest speaker on antique kimonos at a cultural museum in Washington D.C. Rei Shimura, the aforementioned Japanese-American antiques dealer, soon finds that the offer was not as clean as it seemed.
First, she finds herself as an oversea courier for the priceless Samurai-period kimonos she is to lecture about. Then one of the kimonos is stolen from her D.C. hotel room, a recent acquaintance is murdered, and she is suspected of involvement in the crime. To make matters worse, her romantic troubles are heightened by this trip stateside, and her estranged parents become involved as well. The juggling match of the varied plot elements makes for an enjoyable plotline with plenty of suspense. Unfortunately, acclaimed author Sujata Massey seems to have rushed through this novel somewhat and left behind several plot inconsistencies and provides a resolution based upon too many previously-unmentioned plot factors.
As a fan of fiction based in Asian cultures, I was anxious to read this book after reading rave reviews of other Massey works. For 95% of the book I was not disapointed despite niggling plot and character inconsistencies scattered throughout the book. Massey writes a tight plot, melding several plot elements into a cohesive novel that gripped me and made me smile. Her coverage of Japanese culture and history were fantastic and added to the excellence of her writing.
But there is always that 5%. Massey deftly leads the plot to a suspenseful denouement with our protagonist in mortal danger. The villain is a big surprise. And then the reader is confronted with a plethora of details uncovering the plot's veil of mystery. This is a common technique in mystery novels and not necessarily to be criticized. However, in this case, too many of those details arise from previously-unexplained or improperly-foreshadowed incidents in the book. Massey then provides a sappy tie-up ending to resolve the other noncrime-related storylines in her novel. I was deflated.
This is certainly no novel to be trashed and Massey is well-deserving of the praise she receives. I recommend Massey as an author to seek for quality Asian-culture fiction. She merely stumbles with this novel.
3.0 out of 5 stars Much waited for--still waiting,
This review is from: Bride's Kimono (Mass Market Paperback)While I eagerly devoured this new book in the Rei series, I was a little disappointed in the romance side of things. The character seemed to do many stupid things that were out of character. Girl, protect yourself!
I did like the mystery aspect, as I was jumping between multiple theories, being led, and enjoyed the ending. The Japanese culture, always interesting as a setting and for flavor.
So, if you are addicted to the series, buy it. You know you want to, why are you even reading reviews? If you aren't addicted yet, start with the Salaryman's Wife instead. Then you will be addicted, and can wait for the next installment with the rest of us. ;)
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder and theft in the art world,
This review is from: Bride's Kimono (Mass Market Paperback)Massy's work is incredible. She gives an insider's look at what it means to live as an outsider in Japan -- an alien culture to many Westerners. This book's setting is in the US which is a disappointment but has her heroine struggle with her identity as part Japanese and part American. The mystery is a good one, introducing the reader to a little known world of the art of the kimono. Sexy and fun.
3.0 out of 5 stars A good one for the beach.,
Many cultural differences are highlighted here. Flying with a tour group of Japanese "shopping ladies," who plan to mall-shop for four days, Rei comments on the role of women in Japan and the limitations of their lives and relationships. Her museum lecture on the history of the antique kimono illuminates aspects of the Tokugawa reign and the conflicting roles of wife and lover in that period. When Rei reconnects with her own former lover Hugh Glendinning, for whom she still has feelings, her almost-fiance from Japan appears in D.C. as a surprise--and a significant complication. The intricacies of museum power structures here and in Japan are explained, while her rude treatment by Americans on the plane, at the front desks of hotels, and, especially, by the D.C. police allows her to scrutinize American culture.
Unfortunately, Rei's behavior sometimes defies common sense. With business class tickets both for herself and her hand-carried kimono, she agrees to move everything to coach because one rude American wants one seat. She "forgets" a priceless kimono in a restaurant and later leaves it and her passport unsecured in her hotel room. She signs documents she cannot read and gets no instructions from Tokyo when the D.C. museum refuses one kimono. If you are looking for something fun to read at the beach, this is different, and the action at the end is exciting, as long as you are willing to ignore clichés and stereotyped characters and to accept an unusual number of coincidences.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bride's Kimono,
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine story by Sujata Massey,
Nothing is really simple for Rei as she is asked to be a courier of priceless antique kimono from a Japanese museum to one in Washington, DC. She has to get the kimono to their desitination intact and ready for exhibition and this is no easy task. It doesn't get any easier when the receiving museum causes additional stresses by refusing to accept one kimono and this forces Rei to become it's minder and then when it disappears, it becomes her task to recover it. Along the way, Rei meets an old boy friend, discovers she has been robbed of passport and return ticket to Japan and must contend with the death of one of her traveling companions - in fact the woman she had as a seat mate from Japan to DC.
This is a great tale that includes the background workings of museums in both Japan and America. It is also another revealing study of Japanese customs and traditions.
We are given a chance to meet Rei's parents, and I for one, was quite impressed by both of them. Rei's mother reminds me of my own mother-in-law in some ways. So on this level I was able to get a little more enmeshed in the book. We also learn more about Rei only from her parent's perspective and that is helpful in rounding out the charecter. Mrs. Massey does a fine job in this respect.
Mrs. Massey's excellent descriptions of Washington are a big plus in this book. You get the feeling that you are walking along the streets in Georgetown or Adams Morgan along with Rei.
This book, like all the others, doesn't telegraph the criminal elements. There are a couple of decoys that you meet and wonder, what evil deed are they up to, but you discover you're wrong and this are just passing unpleasant charecters that add to the overall tone of the book. Mrs. Massey's books are ones that I don't automatically read the last chapter first. I start from page one and work my way through it, like Rei and everyone else. It was one that once I started, I was reluctant to put it down.
I recommend this book to all of Mrs. Massey's fans and to those who may just be discovering her writing. This is another excellent book by an exceptionally talented mystery writer. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.
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Bride's Kimono by Sujata Massey (Mass Market Paperback - Sep 12 2002)
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