"Never in the farthest reaches of my mind did I ever imagine I would one day die on the other side of the world. That I would die in water on the other side of the world. And yet, that is exactly what I was doing."
So begins the true story of Peggy Keener's life (and near death) in post-war Japan. In this irreverent, uncalled for, soul searching, laugh-out-loud memoir, a dumbfounded Peggy recalls how single handed she clawed out a place for her three babies in a rigidly no-nonsense Tokyo neighborhood. With an absent husband (a civilian with military intelligence who was routinely away on missions), no friends, no guides, no phone, certainly no computer!, and an interminably slow mail system, Peggy put it all aside and flounced headfirst into the baffling, thorny culture in the earnest hope of transforming her Midwest prairie self into a true oriental housewife.
Grappling with the eccentricities of her offbeat house, her suspicious neighbors and their inexplicable ways, while bungling through her boys' Japanese school and reconstructing the language to her liking, Peggy somehow in the midst of the bewilderment, ended up as a popular personality on Japanese national television, a job as befuddling to her as her environs.
Without batting an eye, POTATO IN A RICE BOWL reveals cultural secrets which Japan would undoubtedly prefer remain secret, along with excruciating explanations of its perplexing customs. Yes, the Land of the Rising Sun is not altogether inscrutable when a naive, Minnesota housewife is on the scene translating it through her sincere, though decidedly twisted, logic.
In their 5-star reviews, enthusiastic readers - women and men alike - declare that EAT PRAY LOVE should step aside in the face of POTATO'S cultural tour de force. What would you have done left on your own, a stranger in an even stranger land, with three youngsters in tow? Here is one girls' true life answer. A page-turner of the first order, readers report that sleep has been lost, houses left uncleaned, company ignored and children neglected while they relished the unwitting charm and humor of the author. Defying in her oddball way what others see as insurmountable obstacles, Peggy plows her way through the murky haze of it all to make a place for her family.
"What took Keener so long to write this book," readers question, "and when is her next?" For nearly thirty years, Peggy lived on the "other" side of the world, a place where her breathless misadventures will leave you dazzled and your knee sore from repeated slaps as you laugh your way through her life.
"Better than EAT PRAY LOVE!" says M.F.
"Hands down, the best read of the year. Couldn't stop laughing; laughing out loud with tears running down my face. POTATO is a hoot of a read." M.G.
"The worst two words of this spectacular story are the last two. I frantically flipped through the blank pages at the end, hungry for more. It's a triumph!" E.L.
"Couldn't wait to go to bed each night for a chance to read more - every page an absolute delight. It continues to dance around in my head. I'll never forget it." N.P.
"I picked up POTATO to glance at it and read the first ten chapters before I could put it down. I loved it, loved it! What took Keener so long to write it and when is her next?" G.H.
"Help! Company is on the way! The house is a mess! BUT, I can't stop reading!!" D.L.
"Each day I saved POTATO till bedtime. Later I realized my husband had been waiting for me to fall asleep so he could read it, too. We both finished together, and both loved it. Laughed till we hurt. Thanks for an original and terrific book." J.L.
"POTATO IN A RICE BOWL is the story of nothing short of a super hero mother who faces global trekking challenges without blinking an eye. With hysterical zest, Peggy will keep you riveted, involved and laughing." M.F.
"Too captivated to stop, I read it all in one sitting. What a marvelous book! I'm depleted of laughs." B.I.
About Peggy Keener
See more books from this Author
Published July 10, 2010
by Peggy Keener.
Biographies & Memoirs.