Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is one of my all-time favorite novels. It is the story of a young, poor Japanese girl who is sold into a geisha district, and grows to become one of the topmost successful geisha. Beginning in the Great Depression, this is a work of historical fiction spanning across the World War II and post-World War II eras.
An exceptionally-written, character-driven, epic love story… a tale of rivalry and betrayal, full of history and culture, this novel has everything. Especially the character interactions and dialogue were exemplary: they were natural and realistic, advancing the plot and developing the characters, which— alongside the detailed cultural descriptions of Japanese history, customs and society in that era— made the experience of reading this novel feel real and remarkably researched. I strongly recommend this book!