Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a book I had wanted to read for a long long time. The price of the book was rather steep and that deterred me from ordering it right away.
I looked for the book in libraries and second hand book shops without any success. Until one fine day I chanced upon an e-book version.
The book came highly recommended and it lived up to the expectations I had built up around it.
Mikage is a young girl who lost her parents very early and lived with her grandmother. When her grandmother also dies, she falls into a sea of despondency. She breaks up with her boyfriend and struggles to pass her days. She finds succor in spending time in a Kitchen. Cooking food, eating and cleaning help her keep her sanity.
Her friend Yuichi helps her by taking her to live with him. He stays with his mother Eriko. Eriko is actually Yuichi's father who is a transgender and prefers to be known as Eriko's mother.
Soon Mikage will have to console Yuichi through very dark times.
The novel is about coping with loss. It is not a cheerful topic. Yet we do not fall into despair while reading the book. The novel works with the idea of dealing with loss instead of falling into darkness, hence it gives us hope, that soon things will be better for Mikage and Yuichi.
The language is beautiful. The story moves lyrically and we are carried along on waves of a beautifully told story.
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