“Bar Flower”November 21, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 1 Comment
Memoirs! How I love them! There’s something addictive about peering into someone else’s life and learning all the grisly details. It’s even better when a memoirist like Lea Jacobson comes along with a well-written book like Bar Flower: My Decadently Destructive Days and Nights as a Tokyo Nightclub Hostess. I just could not put this book down. I took it with me on the bus to San Francisco (where I’d made a special trip mainly so I could get this book) and I read 200 pages in 2 1/2 hours.
Jacobson presents her story with expert pacing. She begins the book with “where she ended up” and then tracks back, like in Moulin Rouge, where the foreshadowing is intrinsic to the tone of regret. Decadent, indeed.
Bar Flower would have been interesting even if it happened in, say, a Las Vegas casino. Jacobson adds a great detail about life in Japan as a gaijin that, again, would make an interesting book on its own. She also has a keen feminist take on the culture that I thoroughly enjoyed. You’ll never look at your laundry basket the same way after reading this book. Part travelogue, part caution, Bar Flower is a gripping, fascinating look at a sequestered life most of us will never experience.