"Beads, Boys and the Buddha,"
by Wendy Miyake
(Lotus Moon in Love, 2006, $13.95)
Stories of single life in Hawaii ring true
The AJA women of Wendy Miyake's short stories are in various stages of singlehood, trying to get out.
Their names are Hamachi Oe, Ivory Funai, Harumi Goto, Karma Kikuchi ... reflecting a sense of Old World tradition, new-age aura and pure fantasy.
They have insights such as: "Sensible women nearing 40 do not marry fishermen. If they're smart, they marry people who work for the state of Hawaii so they can be fully covered by medical insurance, go for chiropractic treatments twice a week, snag a four-bedroom house with a rock wall in Mililani, and a Honda Accord that will be stolen anyway."
Miyake is Mililani born and bred, and she has that sense-of-place thing nailed.
Her tales don't take the straight path to enlightenment; rather, they meander along trails that are a treat to follow, incorporating a colorful, mostly loving, supporting cast.
"You really should try to get rid of the clutter, Harumi. Get rid of some friends every year and you'll be able to afford your wedding," says one mother.
"If you need anything -- money, food or good advice on the path to righteousness -- just let us know," says one father.
In these seven stories, Miyake attacks the dating game with charm and the kind of insight that speaks of someone who's been through the wars to emerge understanding that victory takes many forms.
Find the book at Borders Ward Centre or Native Books in Ward Warehouse, or order via lotusmooninlove.com