Book - 2018
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Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister, Keiko's, sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister's affairs, still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago. As he comes to know the figures in Akakawa, from the enigmatic politician to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, Ren delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed, trying to piece together what happened the night of her death. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren struggles to find solace in the void his sister has left behind.
Publisher: New York, NY : Soho Press, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781616958558
Branch Call Number: FIC Goena
Characteristics: 322 pages


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Jan 02, 2020

Eerie and spare, Goenawan’s story of a young man who moves to the city where his sister was murdered and finds himself stepping into many of the same spaces she occupied is the kind of book that it feels weird to go to sleep after reading. Partly because you just can’t stop thinking about it, and partly because there are several dream sequences that are rendered so perfectly that you’re almost worried that you might fall into them. The book is not precisely a thriller—it’s more muted and less twisty—but Goenawan nails a tone and does an expert job at letting you know which details are important without being too obvious. (CW for brief discussions of self-harm)

Oct 02, 2018

When Ren Ishida is notified of his sister's murder, he travels to the small town in which she lived to settle her affairs. While there, he finds himself stepping into her life as a teacher and boarder at a politician's house. Though he does some investigation of her death, this is not your run of the mill murder mystery. It's more about people's relationships. There are also many dream sequences and flashbacks to a life with no deep connections to others. On a side note, it's an interesting look into Japanese culture and daily life. I'm not really sure what I thought of this book but I liked it more and more the further I got into it.

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