“Published in Japan in the same year as her famous novel Kitchen, but only now translated into English, this dreamlike novella delicately examines memory, grief, hope and so much more.
Yayoi has a happy family life but no memory of her childhood except through intuitions that appear suddenly and without warning. She decides to take some time out to stay with her unconventional aunt with whom memories surface and unlock some life-changing truths.
I love the way Yoshimoto conjures deep intimate emotional resonanances with and between her characters, and how tuned in they are to liminal, otherwordly spheres. This novel poses questions about belonging, identity and the fluidity of family bonds. Beautiful, moving, hopeful.”
The new novel from the bestselling author of the beloved classic, Kitchen. I had a premonition of setting out on a journey and getting lost inside a distant tide … It was the beginning of summer, and I was nineteen years old.
Yayoi lives with her perfect, loving family – something ‘like you’d see in a Spielberg movie’. But while her parents tell happy stories of her childhood, she is increasingly haunted by the sense that she’s forgotten something important about her past. Deciding to take a break, she goes to stay with her mysterious but beloved aunt Yukino, whose strange behaviour includes waking Yayoi at two in the morning to be her drinking companion, watching Friday the 13th repeatedly and throwing away all the things she wants to forget.
Living a life without order, Yukino seems to be protecting herself, but beneath this facade Yayoi starts to recover lost memories, and everything she knows about her past threatens to change forever.
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