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A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
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's review
Dec 25, 08

bookshelves: fiction-mainstream
Read in December, 2008

Ishiguro, Kazuo. A PALE VIEW OF HILLS. (1982). ****. This was the author’s first novel, and was a marvelous beginning to his long career. It is a sensitive novel about the effects of change as they are forced upon a defeated country. Our narrator is a woman from Nagasaki, now living in England. Her name is Etsuko. The story moves around between Japan and England, and explores the clash of the old vs the new values as they affect the status of women and family. This is a penetrating examination of the longer-term effects of America on Japanese culture; what was kept and what was swept by the wayside. The relationship between parents and children was also affected and is explored by the author using Etsuko and her children, Keiko (a daughter who committed suicide) and Niki, the remaining daughter who has gone off on her own and lives in London. Etsuko’s short-lived friendship with another woman in Nagasaki, Sachiko, also provides grist for the mill of changing values. In all, this is an excellent novel, and is further amazing for the first one out of the box. Recommended.

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