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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
It was the early 1960's; Glen Keener had just graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Asian Studies. The former soldier was quickly hired by the US Army as a civilian in the Intelligence Branch. Glen, Peggy and their two children packed up and moved to Tokyo. She was from Austin, Minnesota; how would she cope with living half way around the world?
Peggy Keener weaves threads together to create the tapestry upon which their lives played out. She deftly describes her adventure sail boating. I will not spoil the scene for other readers. I will say, I always wanted to try sailing; she changed my mind! Her description of their son Percy's diaper was hilarious and brought back many memories. The reader must remember this was before disposable diapers. Percy weighed 30 pounds, and one or two diapers were never enough to keep him dry. It took seven or eight diapers meticulously folded to catch his "jet stream." It was a three day trip to Japan. It took a lot of diapers!
Peggy Keener kept me laughing throughout the entire 407 pages. I believe Peggy's sense of humor was what made her life in Japan livable. Attitude is everything. Her description of the Japanese toilet was hilarious. They were flush with the floor with a six inch reflector shield and you had to bring your own tissue. Peggy's attitude was, "When in Rome do as Romans." So when in Japan, do as Japanese do. It does not have quite the same ring to it. The Keener's adventures are entertaining. I can certainly understand why Peggy became a television star in Japan.
I love this book. Keener brings the city of Tokyo to life. I admire the way she embraced the culture with little complaint. I know the family was happy to return to the states. I'm also sure they look back on their life in Japan with fond memories. Keener is a fantastic writer. Her style is comical and is a cross between narrator and conversationalist. I look forward to reading more books by this talented lady.