High & Dry. Primo amore
by Banana Yoshimoto
Genre: Japanese literature
Unfortunately I couldn’t find the English title for this book, so I will leave here the Italian one.
There is not actually too much to say about this book, always avoiding to spoil the entire story.
It is a short story set in Japan, and the Japanese culture is profoundly evident and present through the actions and dialogues of the characters.
It is my very first Japanese book, and I noticed how different the same story would be told if set in another country with another culture.
There were a few passages where I couldn’t avoid myself imaging the events narrated as a Manga movie.
The story itself left me with many questions, and I would like to meet the characters to inquire them about certain events and actions, the mother of the protagonist s the one I would talk the most.
The protagonist is Yuko, a young girl aged fourteen, who, in certain passages, I imagined as a woman of almost thirty, because she is actually described as an older woman inside the body of a teenager.
Her thoughts and behaviours are uncommon for a girl of her age, and it was hard for me to accept her age in relation with her actions and ideas.
I think this book is a perfect summer reading, it is not heavy and you can easily put it in your bag to go to the beach.
I read it in just one afternoon.
It is short but pleasant.
I do recommend it, it will get you in touch with the Japanese culture.
Furthermore, I think that Banana Yoshimoto’s style is quite similar to Virginia Woolf’s one; the story is told in a way that reminded me Mrs Dalloway, for example, because the reader gets into Yuko’s life at a certain moment and at the end of the book leaves her, while she goes on living her life.