In just 144 pages, Julie Otsuka magically takes us the readers deep into the experience of the lives of Japanese mail-order brides of the 1930's, lives filled with pain and terror and joy and exhilaration, like the lives of all brides, all women, all people. It's a beautiful trip. We readers go where the brides go, we see the things the brides see, and, best of all, we feel what the brides feel. It is amazing and this read has left me transformed, with a new appreciation and compassion for the women of the past. No review can do justice to this book.