The Housekeeper and the Professor
A premise like that can b ...more
The eponymous housekeeper is a young single mother (herself the only child of a single mother) with a ten-year-old son. She becomes daily housekeeper to a former maths professor whose head injury in 1975 means he ...more
This is a characte ...more
This book moved me. It is a small ripple that travels a long way across calm waters. It is nothing ground shaking, nothing that makes you tumble and di ...more
After our first full day visiting Japan in 2011, I saw a baseball game on TV (had to be a replay because it was December): the Yakult Swallows versus the Hanshin Tigers. I recognized Matt Murton of the Tigers who'd briefly played for the Chicago Cubs and the name of the 40-year-old Miyamoto. Two evenings later, in Nara, we got caught up in a small parade on the main street and as it ended, a young man straddling a bicycle caught up with us to ask if we were Americans and, next, if we knew Ame ...more
"...The pages and pages of complex, impenetrable calculations might have contained the secrets of the universe, copied out of God's notebook.
In my imagination, I saw the creator of the universe sitting in some distant corner of the sky, weaving a pattern of delicate lace so fine that that even the faintest light would shine through it. ...more
So what would it be like if each of those moments is created anew, every 80 minutes? How would you form an opinion of or attachment to someone? Woul ...more
"For the professor, there was no shame in admitting you didn't have the answer, it was a necessary step toward the truth. It was as important to teach us about the unknown or the unknowable as it was to teach us what had already been safely proven.
There are books that shred you after you’ve read them. Authors that feel like they’ve written their books just for you. The House Keeper and The Professor is one of those books, and Yoko Ogawa is one of those autho ...more
It is simple, gentle and character-driven, and it is also moving because it has so much insight into the human condition.
The Housekeeper is a single mother with a ten-year old son. She has a great deal of experience and she knows that she is good at her job, but when she is sent to work for The Professor, a virtuoso mathematician, she is worried.
Why? Wel ...more
This slim Japanese novel is less than 200 pages long, and I really liked how the story explores "what it means to live in the present, an ...more
È confortante sapere che esiste una nazione il cui popolo e la delicatezza si sono inventati a vicenda. Sì, mio giovane amico, sto parlando del Giappone. No, in effetti non ci sono mai stata, ma ho letto parecchie cose che provengono da questa landa sconosciuta. In effetti, a volte basta leggere molto, per farsi un’idea su un’intera nazione.
E mi ero quasi convinta che in me, albergasse lo spirito di un camion ...more
Her characters are so real, and the story rings so true, even though the idea of a person with an 80-minute memory seems a bit far-fetched. I can't describ ...more
After reading the book summary, I drew an interest in this book because it sounded a little bit like 50 First Dates (one of my favorite movies). The story is about a math professor whose memory only lasts 80 minutes, and the housekeeper who takes care of him. Sadly, this book was anything but the magical and charming love story that all the reviews gave it.
Throughout the book, we never learn anyone's name, as everyone goes by The Housekeeper, Root, The Professor, and The Widow. The math part of...more
I finished the book today, and I did enjoy it all the way through and want to read more of Ogam ...more
From the opening, the story grabbed me from the start. It was told in first person by a young mother: "We called him the Professor. And he called my son Root, because, he said, the flat top of his head reminded him of the square root sign." It was unusual in that all of the main characters were without proper names: the Housekeeper, the Professor, Root and the Widow.
It was a beautiful, interesting story that captured every moment; I soon learned that time was a very precious commodity. ...more
A housekeeper is sent by her agency to the home of a problematic client. A blue star is stamped on the client’s card each time a housekeeper has to be replaced, and the Professor’s card already has nine stars. But she prides herself on her professionalism. The Professor lives in a small cottage next to a larger mansion occupied by his brother’s widow. A few years before he suffered a brain injury in an automobile accident and as a result his memory is li ...more
"A moment later, I realized he was sobbing quietly. At first, I couldn't tell where the sound was coming from him - it sounded like the stuttering of a broken music box. These sobs were very different from the ones he'd cried when Root cut his hand; they were private, desolate, and for no one other than himself.
The Professor was reading the note clipped in the most prominent spot on his jacket, the one he could never avoid seeing as he got dressed. "My memory lasts only eighty minutes.""
There wa ...more
This novel of a mathematician, who only has a memory that lasts 80 minutes, and the single mother housekeeper and her son who work for him is a masterful work. Ogawa has an ability to depict intricate scenes with few words. She evokes truly human emotions and understanding in just a phrase. Perhaps the most amazing part of the writing is the ability to invoke the heart-clenching fe ...more