‘Must we conform?’ is the question. For whom, for what, and why do we struggle to fit into a society that is cruel and self-centered? Haruki Murakami explores scary themes and more in this daringly short novella. It took 2-3 hours to read and the effects stayed put for a long time afterwards… they came back at other times too, with haunting clarity.
The heroine of the novel is an aspiring author named Sumire, who falls in love with an older woman, Miu, who appears to like Sumire for certain qualities, though she has no time for Sumire’s aspirations and ideals. The third character is the unnamed narrator, an elementary school teacher, referred to twice by Sumire only as ‘K’, who is in love with Sumire, though Sumire does not requite his feelings.
Love and its fleeting boundaries, life and its fragility, of wandering over and about… Am I rambling? This book is a must read, especially for people who enjoy reading but cannot deal with heavy volumes which lose them midway. However, for the uninitiated into the parallel universe, it might be a quake.
Quote: “And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal in their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they’re nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we’d be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing.”
Thank you, Sarah, brilliant recommendation 🙂