My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The majority of my reading centers on fiction; however, autobiographical books enter the queue every so often. This week, I’m reading and reviewing ‘Fishnets In The Far East: A Dancer’s Diary in Korea’ by Michele E. Northwood. If there ever were a topic I knew nothing about, this would take the cake… so it’s quite the fun experience to relive someone else’s life when it’s completely new to me on every possible level. One thing is for sure, even if I couldn’t personally relate to the events Michele has gone through, she is a wonderful author who can clearly bring to the surface the emotions of a very complex period in her life.
With almost two decades of her life completed, a brave young woman sets forth to join a dance troupe that’s leaving for six months in Korea. She know little about the country or the people that will be in her close circle of acquaintances and possibly friends, and must somehow entertain an entirely different culture of people. Oh yeah, I forgot… this took place a few decades ago, so it’s not quite as modernized as many of us might know today. WOW! I give this woman credit for taking a huge risk, and while she’s here to tell the story, it’s clear to any reader who invested in this story, her life was not at all easy during that time period.
Without delving into cultural differences, I’ll make a bold statement and say: “Men sometimes are idiots.” What a bunch of crazed lunatics put Michele and her dance sisters through was absolutely ridiculous, but for us readers, it will bring lots of hilarious and yikes moments. Northwood cleverly shows us how she survived, not in any typical manner, as collecting one’s salary and getting from place to place might result in your unsuspecting death. Kudos to the author for being able to relive these absurd (only because of what her fellow dancers and the Koreans did to her) moments long enough to dazzle us. I kept thinking… “hmm… I might have been put in prison if someone tried that with me!” There’s a lesson here… and thankfully, Northwood survived to share it with us.
While the tale is written in chronological order, and not at all like journal entries, it easily felt like we had glimpses into key moments of that six-month experience: some were positive and powerful, others were heartfelt and worrisome. When Michele’s sister considers going to join the troupe, I might’ve tried to jump through the pages to stop her! Thanks for that moment, Northwood… you pulled me into your story and made me want to change reality.
What a great way to share your past! Not only entertaining but equally as eye-opening, this was a fascinating read. I’m excited to find out what happens in the next edition of the series… when Michele goes to Japan – a culture I know more about but at the same time wonder… might things get better or worse for her? Imagine knowing her in real life and seeing what your friend went through to become the strong and admirable person she is today? A definite recommend for a different style of book that might be a perfect summer read to broaden a reader’s horizons about life in the real world.
View all my reviews
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.