Book Review, Books, Reading, Uncategorized


“Men had suddenly become a scarce commodity, if not quite as sought after as rice.”
John Burnham Schwartz, The Commoner

We are officially wrapping up the end of January with a book that I was pleasantly surprised by.

The commoner is the story of the young woman Haruko and how she becomes the first woman of the common people to marry the Crown Prince of Japan. She is treated horribly by the current Empress, and eventually has a nervous breakdown.

Thirty years later, she is now the Empress herself, and now faces the task of convincing another young girl to accept her son’s marriage proposal, and must live with the tragic consequences that occur.

“By almost every account he’s a fine young man. I’m simply trying to figure out why I should care that he’s three centimeters taller than he was in May.”
John Burnham Schwartz, The Commoner

This book took me a while to actually get in to. It is very heavily history based, which usually I enjoy reading, but there were times it felt more like a textbook than fiction.

Honestly? I didn’t enjoy it that much. The narrator herself was very uninteresting and almost bland to read from, offering very much a fact by fact sort of perspective that did produce some beautiful language, but ultimately very boring.

The plot sort of lost steam halfway through as well. The ending felt disjointed and rushed, and I just was not very satisfied once I finished.

I feel like this was written with the characters staying an arms length away from the reader. Overall? Another book that had a really great premise, but sadly failed to live up to it.

“Beyond the terrace, a light breeze stirred the reeds at the edge of the pond. Looking out at this intimate vista, one could see the reeds and a stone lantern and the brightest of the evening’s stars floating on the gloaming mirror of the pond. Then the breeze came again to crack the water’s surface, and the picture was flooded.”
John Burnham Schwartz, The Commoner


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