The Cake Tree in the Ruins is an incredible collection of short stories all set on August 15,1945, the day Japan surrendered to the Allies in World War II.
Some of the themes tackled are war and its effects, survival, loss, love and kindness in the most difficult situations. Several of the stories highlight on how useless wars are and its effects on common/ordinary people who are the actual victims.
Most of the stories are extremely sad and heartbreaking and The Whale Who Fell In Love With the Submarine is my favorite, a beautifully tragic story.
This is my first venture on Akiyuki Nosaka’s works and he definitely has my heart. This collection is haunting and superb and one that will stay with me for a very long time.
“He was waiting for his mother who was sure to come back from the sky — the mother who had soared up into the sky like a kite blown by the wind.”
“Too many undernourished people and animals appear in these stories, I know, but it was wartime, after all.”
“On 15th August in the cloudless blue sky evening sky a single giant balloon left Japan and rode the jet stream headed for America. It carried no bomb… and unable to land is probably still floating around somewhere filled with the breath of school children.”
Rating: 5/5 stars