This was a win for me from Sakura of Chasing Bawa and one which I looked forward to immensely. My reading of Japanese authors has been rather limited and having heard great reviews of this book I awaited it very eagerly.
For me the book was not an easy read, despite a delightful font (a pet grouse of mine!) and a short book. Chihiro has lost her mother after a prolonged illness and is a bit estranged from her father. Her relationship with Nobu who comes with a chequered past is intriguing. Are they in love or are they just comfortable with each other. Has Chihiro drifted into the relationship because of the lack of any other focus in her life and is Nobu selfish in wanting to cling to someone because he is generally not good with people.
This was my first read of a Yoshimoto novel so I have nothing to compare her writing with. The characters seem to deal with past issues more than with the present. The past is so complex that it colors their whole present and makes progress rather difficult. The story attempts to move from darkness to light - from past traumatic histories to a more pleasant, lighter future.
The appearance of the lake, the mystery surrounding it, the two characters which occupy the house which Nobu had lived in added to the mystery which I did not understand very well. Neither could I connect it to the main story very well. It seemed a bit far fetched to me at this point.
I hope I do get to Yoshimoto's earlier novels later on as they have been huge successes. This one was not for me.