Author: Wendy Nelson Tokunaga
Genre: Multicultural fiction
First sentence reads: Midori Saito received the following warning from her mother right before she left Japan: " Running off with a foreigner will bring you nothing but trouble," she said.
I just finished reading this book today and this is my second time reading Wendy Nelson Tokunaga's work. It's absolutely delightful. The author has a wicked sense of humor, delightful word play and smooth story telling. Just the right combination to create a delightful story.
Midori Saito doesn't fit in with the typical Japanese norm. She rebels and wants things which are frowned upon and considered not mainstream. Midori is passionate about 3 things; learning English, marrying a gaijin (foreigner) and pastries. She meets Kevin, an American guy who proposes to her and off she goes to America under her fiancée' s visa. There she is jilted by him and is stranded without much money and no job but she refused to be deported. Her poor English is of no help either. Lucky for her, she meets her ex-fiancées friend Shinji who is also a Japanese who like her did not fit in in Japan. Shinji proves to be of great help he has a room for rent but its up to Midori to find a job. Without a green card the going gets tough but the tough Midori proves she is up to the challenge and takes a 'under the table' job at a Japanese lounge as a bar waitress. She survives and indulges in her passion of baking, making desserts and improving her English ingeniously through television drama. Her determination to get a green card is intense and utterly funny. In this light and fun story we see Midori's progress as she gains friendship and falls in love with non-other than her moon gazing housemate Shinji. Delightful read.
She closes her eyes. She is truly a chicken with its head cut off. No, that isn't it. No, she is pure chicken feed. No, not that either. Wait. She has chickened out. Yes that's it.