A major literary sensation is back with a quietly stunning tour de force about the redemptive power of love.
While The Lake shows off many of the features that have made Banana Yoshimoto famous—a cast of vivid and quirky characters, simple yet nuanced prose, a tight plot with an upbeat pace—it’s also one of the most darkly mysterious books she’s ever written.
It tells the tale of a young woman who moves to Tokyo after the death of her mother, hoping to get over her grief and start a career as a graphic artist. She finds herself spending too much time staring out her window, though ... until she realizes she’s gotten used to seeing a young man across the street staring out his window, too.
Pages: 192 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Melville House
Released: May 3, 2011
Before I start, I just want to say that if you see this book at amazon, goodreads, book depository, the library, the book...basically anywhere that you can find this book. Do not, under any circumstances, read the synopsis past the point that I've posted here. Why? Because the synopsis kind of spoils the book. So if you plan on reading this, don't read the synopsis.
I've only read one book by Banana Yoshimoto, Asleep, which I enjoyed. I love her writing style and how it gives off a very dreamy sort of style. I'm still not sure if it's correctly translated, but I think for the most part, Michael Emmerich did a great job.
The story is about Chihiro and Nakajima and their complicated relationship. Chihiro is still suffering from the death of her mother and it's clear that Nakajima has a painful past that no one could ever imagine. (unless you read the synopsis, so don't!) The more Nakajima learns to trust Chihiro, the more she wants to heal him. It's a complicated relationship, but one that both of them want and need.
The Lake is a relatively short book. It's only 192 pages. But after reading Asleep and now The Lake, I've noticed that even though her books are short they feel longer. I remember reading this and feeling like a long time has passed, but I was only on page 70. Now, whether this is a bad thing or a good one is entirely up to the reader.
As far as the story goes, it's okay. There is a sense of loneliness, grief, and pain throughout the pages. This is a pretty dark book, but one that I thought was quite good. Like I mentioned before, I became a fan of Yoshimoto's writing style after reading Asleep and I was glad that the same translator was used for both books. When I read her books I feel a sense of disconnect from her characters, but they still keep me engaged. It's weird, but it's one of the things that I like about her writing.
The Lake does start off slow and I did feel like it dragged on at some points, but I still enjoyed my time reading this.
ps. Did I mention that you shouldn't read the synopsis?
This was provided by netgalley