How to Be an American Housewife

By Margaret Dilloway
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399156373, 288pp.)

Publication Date: August 5, 2010

List Price: $24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.


Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2010 Indie Notables
“You will love this story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who marries an American soldier at the end of World War II and travels to America to become the perfect housewife. Shoko's plan to reunite with her brother in Japan is put on hold because of health problems, and she sends her daughter and granddaughter instead for the visit that reveals family secrets and leads to forgiveness.”
-- Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC


A lively and surprising novel about a Japanese woman with a closely guarded secret, the American daughter who strives to live up to her mother's standards, and the rejuvenating power of forgiveness.

How to Be an American Housewife is a novel about mothers and daughters, and the pull of tradition. It tells the story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue to go in her place. The trip reveals family secrets that change their lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways. Offering an entertaining glimpse into American and Japanese family lives and their potent aspirations, this is a warm and engaging novel full of unexpected insight.

About the Author

Margaret Dilloway was inspired by her Japanese mother's experiences when she wrote this novel, and especially by a book her father had given to her mother called The American Way of Housekeeping. Dilloway lives in Hawaii with her husband and their three young children. Her blog, American Housewife, can be found on her website,

Indie Bookstore Finder
EBbooks and EReaders
Find great gifts: Signed books
Link to IndieBound

Update Profile