This book is now on a ray. Look at it go! It’ll travel to India and Iran among many! Greece, France, Netherland, and Canada too. What a lucky book! =P
Got it from: Popular Singapore, with voucher from NLB, which I got from a selected book review I submitted to their site
Rating: 4 out of 5
It’s a thriller/mystery book. Not the type I normally would read. But I was just intrigued by the good reviews from Amazon, and the mere fact that it’s authored by, again, Japanese, my recent obsession :). From the front cover, it’s Winner of Japan’s Grand Prix for Crime Fiction and Edgar Award Finalist.
From the back cover:
This mesmerizing novel tells the story of a brutal murder in the staid Tokyo suburbs, as a young mother who works the night shift making boxed lunches strangles her abusive husband and then seeks the help of her coworkers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime. The coolly intelligent Masako emerges as the plot’s ringleader but quickly discovers that this killing is merely the beginning, as it leads to a terrifying foray into the violent underbelly of Japanese society. At once a masterpiece of literary suspense and pitch-black comedy of gender warfare. Out is also a moving evocation of the pressures and prejudices that drive women to extreme deeds, and the friendships that bolster the in the aftermath.
Meh, I’m not sure about that ‘friendship’ in that last sentence. Every action in this book is done out of desperation more than anything, IMO. If I had to summarize it in one word, that’s the central theme of the book. Desperation. All characters are desperate in some ways, to get OUT of their sticky situation. Is that probably where the title comes from?
The gender prejudice and inequality are especially thick in this book. Work especially well with Japan setting and four women as the central characters. (Well, this reminds me of Desperate Housewives out of the blue. But rest assure, it’s nothing like it. Doesn’t mean I don’t like Desperate Housewives :)
Some parts can be too gross to read. I did read every single word with some effort. I thought I couldn’t go on but I could.
It’s totally a page-turner however. I finished the book fairly quickly, finishing the last 2 chapters in 1 night (ie a few hours), because I just had to know what happened next!
Recommended if you’re looking for that engaging book you cannot put down.
“The way to despair is to refuse to have any kind of experience…” ~ Flannery O’Connor (front page)
“.. fate is what happens to you in spite of all your plans.” ~ Satake, pg 192