Reviews of Grass For His Pillow (2003)
Review by mojosmom (2004-04-27)
The second in Hearn's <i>Tales of the Otori</i> trilogy. Not quite as good as the first (<u><i>Across the Nightingale Floor</i></u>), but that was so good that it doesn't matter.
Takeo, in fulfillment of his promise, has gone to join the Tribe, where he will learn to be an assassin. But treachery, coupled with a deep distaste for this life, lead him to leave the Tribe, a move he knows will mark him for death. Kaede, meanwhile, must find a way to take up her inheritance and lead the Maruyama, while maintaining her independence and avoiding an arranged marriage. Both long for a day when they may be together again.
The struggles they undergo to achieve their goals matures them, and this unfolds gradually and naturally. Kaede's and Takeo's stories are told in parallel, as they travel towards each other.
Hearn again draws, with understanding and affection, on the world of medieval Japan for her inspiration.