Two beautifully woven storylines that dealt with grief and loss with wonderful narration which I thought would have been really good novels instead of short stories. Banana Yoshimoto and these two stories remind me very much of Haruki Murakami and his ability to turn daily life into something magical.
This is a quick and easy read with lots of important ideas each of us should understand. Also, I like books for its simplicity and Yoshimoto’s writing style was so simple which made me like the book more. I’m not really sure if this is really Yoshimoto’s writing style or was it the translation but yeah, it came out simple and easy to read. I wouldn’t have to reread several pages to fully understand.
I guess what the author is really trying to tell us in both stories is to live our lives to the fullest. The loss of a loved one or anyone dear to us doesn’t always have to bring us sadness or grief because it won’t bring us back the people we’ve lost. The world is unfair so better just make the best out of it while here.
“People aren’t overcome by situations or outside forces. Defeat comes from within.”
“No matter what, I want to continue living with the awareness that I will die. Without that, I am not alive.”
“As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and I will hit rock bottom again and again. Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won’t let my spirit be destroyed.”
“Over and over, we begin again.”
“I realized that the world did not exist for my benefit. It followed that the ratio of pleasant and unpleasant things around me would not change. It wasn’t up to me. It was clear that the best thing to do was to adopt a sort of muddled cheerfulness.”
Rating: 4/5 stars
Here’s another Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge and this time, it’s from Dwight Roth of Roth Poetry. Just click on the link and enjoy wonderful poetry.
- Thank the person who nominated you.
- Post a quote for three consecutive days.
- Nominate three other bloggers each day.
The first day nominees are:
Her Screaming Shadows
Things look different depending on your perspective. As I see it, fighting to bridge those gaps isn’t what really matters. The most important thing is to know them inside and out, as differences, and to understand why certain people are the way they are.
I have been interested with Banana Yoshimoto for quite some time now but I haven’t got the chance to read any of her books. I’m not sure how I came across a copy of this but I’m glad I did.
The Lake is the story of Chihiro who moved to Tokyo after her mom died hoping to have a career as a graphic artist and eventually get over her grief. She often spends her time by the window and eventually noticed a man, Nakajima, from another window and soon became friends. Chihiro later learns that Nakajima is dealing with something complex brought about by his past. Both of them are trying to get over the loss of their mothers in their own different ways.
I like the simplicity of the prose. I really think it’s beautiful. I love how Chihiro and Nakajima’s love story cautiously develops. The way Nakajima tries to step up and get over his issues and still sometimes end up in depression seems very realistic which makes the book more interesting for me. His sweet and at the same time sad story with his friends Mino and Chii are also worth the read. And by the time I found myself attached to the characters already, the story was over.
Yoshimoto’s writing style is very simple and soothing that I think this is a very good introduction of her works for me. That said, I’m looking forward to reading her other books.
Quotable Quotes :
“Of course, it’s true that sometimes the pink at sunrise somehow seems brighter than the pink at sunset, and that when you’re feeling down the the landscape seems darker, too – you see things through the filter of your own sensibility.”
“…there’s nothing wrong with being a little hopeful. Who says you can’t warm your frozen limbs in the faint heat of a flicker of hope?”
“I love feeling the rhythm of other people’s lives. It’s like traveling.”
“When things get really bad, you take comfort in the placeness of a place.”
“Why were we so far apart, even when we were together? It was a nice loneliness, like the sensation of washing your face in cold water.”
Rating : 4/5 stars