Jacquelyn's Reviews > Once Removed

Once Removed by Mako Yoshikawa
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's review
Jan 08, 2010

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Read in January, 2010

Once Removed offers quite a lot to the reader. It leads us through culture and generational dynamics, difficult choices and unusual perspectives on some universal dilemmas. The most obvious question is whether Claudia should leave Vikram, who is married with two children. Yoshikawa gently leads us around this decision point, and lets us think about it from several points of view. She does us the favour of not offering obvious and easy answers Yoshikawa also lets us see things through the lens of a traditional Japanese woman, and contrasts her thoughts with those of her daughter (Rei) and her stepdaughter (Claudia). She views some of these perspectives with humour: Rei and Claudia, when the first met, decided they looked exactly alike, even thought the physical differences were significant (Claudia is large, blonde, and slow-moving, Rei is small, with Asian features and a tendency to run everywhere). In my view, Yoshikawa spins a great story - what was lacking was the soaring prose.

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