An Un-Calibrated Centrifuge

My dad once said to me, "You give a lot of books three stars." I do.

Mismatch

Mismatch - Lensey Namioka

I wanted to like this book, but nothing in it quite worked for me.

 

It's an issue book that didn't satisfactorily deal with the issues. Like, it's pretty didactic but not very explicit. I just wanted one character to make the distinction between ethnicity and nationality (seriously, if everyone thought about those as two separate things, the whole book would be different). There are bits that dealt with this in interesting ways (the Chongs are the best example), but most of it is just Sue or Andy insisting that they are Japanese/Chinese/American.

 

Also, I hate when food is "translated" into English/American. I can never understand the "translations" (aka fish paste) and it makes me feel like an outsider when I'm reading about my own culture.*

 

And the yakuza subplot is ridiculous. 

 

The characters all sound the same (there are several phrases recycled throughout the book), and there's a lot of similarities between this book and Namioka's other books particularly the Yang Family series. All in all, I'd say skip this one in favor of reading those or her historical fiction.

 

*It took me 20+ years to realize that bean curd is tofu.