29 May 2008


Banana Yoshimoto
Paperback: 160 page
Publisher: Washington Square Press (March 1, 1994)

Yosimoto's first book is part romance, part coming of age story, written in an easy style that draws in the reader. It felt real, believable, and had characters that I cared about, that I could be friends with, that I could expect to meet going about my daily life.

The story follows Mikage after the death of her grandmother, coming to grips with the death of her only family and her emptiness. She is helped through this tough time by an unexpected offer of friendship and by a discovery of a love of cooking. Another death and more love follow Mikage in the ensuing months and she struggles to handle it as any twenty-something would. While the story was sometimes silly with romance (for me), it was still about real life and for that I liked it.

The companion novella is Yosimoto's first published work and also deals with the themes of love and loss through death. This is a much more sentimental story, too much so for my taste, but the elements of the preternatural kept me interested. It ends in a very satisfying, and again real life, ending that just "felt right".

I was very enchanted with Yosimoto's easy style and realism and plan to read her more recent novels at some point as well.

Read for the ORBIS TERRARUM Challenge. View my progress here.



Blogger bethany said...

i LOVE Banana!!! I have only read Lizard by her, I really need to get some more of Yoshimoto's books!!

7:29 PM  

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