Princess Masoko: Prisoner of the Chysanthemum Throne
Random House, $34.95 pb, 320 pp
Ben Hills’s biography of Princess Masako has a second subtitle: The Tragic True Story of Japan’s Crown Princess. It is a taste of the work to come, of both the hyperbole and the author’s tendency to explain everything to the reader. But then, the book is promoted not as a serious biography but as a ‘romance gone wrong’. Written by a Fairfax investigative reporter, it reads like an extended feature article, with the historical strands teased out but little empathy with its main characters.