How to Be an American Housewife

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How To Be an American Housewife
Author Margaret Dilloway
Country United States
Language English
Genre Chick lit Fiction
Publisher Penguin Publishing
Publication date
2010 (2010)
ISBN 978-0399156373

How To Be An American Housewife is a 2010 novel by Margaret Dilloway. It is based on the experiences of Dilloway's mother who was a Japanese war bride.[1][2]


The book tells the story of Shoko Morgan, a mother of two and wife to American GI Charlie. Shoko decided to contact Shoko's brother Taro, whom she last saw when she married Charlie at the end of World War II. However, she is too ill to return her country. Shoko asked her daughter Sue and granddaughter to go to Japan to find her uncle to discover her mother's life secret.


  • Shoko Morgan - A Japanese Woman who married American GI with whom she had 2 children
  • Suiko (Sue) Morgan - Shoko's and Charlie's daughter and brother to Mike and niece to Taro
  • Charlie Morgan - Shoko's husband and Mike's and Sue's father is an Irish-American GI who is kindhearted yet shy
  • Mike Morgan - Shoko's and Charlie's son and older brother of Sue
  • Taro - Shoko's younger brother and uncle to Sue and Mike who hates Americans, retired from being a school principal
  • Mille Morgan - Charlie's mother who become Shoko's mother in law and grandmother to Mike and Sue
  • Nanny - a babysitter whom Shoko disliked as a child
  • Craig - Sue's ex-husband and Helena's father who married her at age of 20
  • Suki - Taro's and Shoko's sister.
  • Ronin - an Eta whom Shoko fallen in love with, actually born to an English father and Japanese mother. He and Shoko were lovers. He was killed by Testuo
  • Testuo - Taro's childhood friend who was engaged to Shoko until he cheated her with her friend Yuki.
  • Toyoko - Japanese wife of African American soldier
  • Jim - Toyoko's husband
  • Kyle Leonard - An American general who met Shoko
  • Lorraine- A neighbor of Charlie and Shoko
  • Dr Cunningham - Shoko's doctor
  • Helena - Sue's and Craig's 13-year-old daughter
  • Dr Su : Shoko's doctor is a Chinese-American doctor
  • Toshiro : A Japanese traveler who met Sue and Helena
  • Yasuo Takana - Suki's son is a teacher of Ukei High high school who met his cousin Sue
  • Hiroshi - Yasuo's lover
  • Sumiko - Taro's granddaughter who met Sue and Helena
  • Taro-chan- Sumiko's four-year-old son who shared namesake with great-grandfather


The book was a John Gardner Fiction Award Finalist in 2011.[3]


  1. ^ Newman, Judith (2010-08-23). "Picks and Pans Main: Books". Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  2. ^ Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC (2011-08-02). "How to Be an American Housewife". IndieBound. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  3. ^ "THE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY JOHN GARDNER FICTION BOOK AWARD". Binghamton University. Binghamton Center for Writers. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 

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