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What's Left of Me Is Yours

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,499 ratings  ·  308 reviews
A gripping debut set in modern-day Tokyo and inspired by a true crime, for readers of Everything I Never Told You and The Perfect Nanny, What's Left of Me Is Yours charts a young woman's search for the truth about her mother's life--and her murder.

In Japan, a covert industry has grown up around the "wakaresaseya" (literally "breaker-upper"), a person hired by one spous
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 23rd 2020 by Doubleday Books (first published April 21st 2020)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  1,499 ratings  ·  308 reviews

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May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Scott's literary debut is confidently assured and stunning, drawing its inspiration from a real life crime, a heart breaking blend of fact and fiction, immersing the reader in 1990s and contemporary Japan. Scott's research of Japanese society and culture is impeccable, portrayed with subtlety and nuance, in its keen observations and insights, an absolute necessity if the reader is unaware of its marked differences from our world, with its seemingly rigid constraints and limitations. Wi ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A story of love and betrayal, here’s another novel that doesn’t fit cleanly into one genre. Inspired by a real crime, What’s Left of Me Is Yours is a mystery where we already know the killer, a romance that sours and a family drama located in the heart of Tokyo. I had no knowledge of the ‘wakaresaseya’ profession before beginning, but trust that Stephanie Scott is an expert not only in the real case that inspired the book, but seemingly the entire Japanese legal system as well.

I really have to t
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really well written, heartbreaking debut set in Japan..based on a true story.
This story shifts back and forth between the 1990’s where a man named Kaitaro, is hired by the husband of Rina to seduce her so he can easily get a divorce... and to 20 years later when Rina’s daughter Sumiko, is discovering the truth about her mother’s murder.
This is a crime story, a love story, and it also shines a light on Japanese culture and their legal system.. and also the despicable career of a “wakaresasey
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing

An expression of romantic love, not meant for a book, but I really did love this!

What to do when love ends or was never there in the first place?

Maybe you’d like to end a professional relationship?

The solution in Japanese society could involve a Wakaresaseya which is an agent for hire who discretely breaks partnerships apart. A sordid business it is, using unethical practices to gain favorable positioning for the person initiating the split.

After obtaining a client contract, the Wak
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What's Left of Me is Yours, Stephanie Scott’s multiple award-winning debut novel, is a triumph of a story set against the metropolis of Tokyo, Japan and which shines a light on the peculiar industry that has sprung up in relation to those in struggling marriages as well as the way marriage struggles and impending divorce is perceived in Asia. Inspired by a fascinating true crime awe of murder, Scott masterfully crafts a devastatingly deft fact-meets-fiction epic that barges its way into your hea ...more
Fiona Mitchell
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This graceful and evocative novel, told in two time frames, transports you all the way to modern-day Tokyo. In the present, we meet Rina’s daughter Sumiko who, when she is on the cusp of qualifying as a lawyer, gets a phone call from the Prison Service about an inmate called Kaitarō who is somehow connected to her mother Rina. Sumiko has always believed that her mother died in a car accident, but now everything she knew about her family is about to fall apart.

The past charts the growing love aff
Louise Beech
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, beautiful book that defies genre - and my words. There is a crime. There is betrayal. There is love. There is history. This is truly an epic, meticulously and lovingly researched, with such exquisite description and detail that I read the same lines over, many times. There are thought-provoking observations, unforgettable characters, and heart-breaking decisions that set in motion catastrophic events. I will not forget this book for a long time.
Shannon A
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How do I write a review for a book that is so descriptive and beautiful that it seems to have been an opera whispered?
This story is so meticulous researched that you forget that this a novel; a story of a family and love so masterfully woven you forget the crime.
A stunning debut of the many shades of love & how the best of lies are told nearest to truth.
Adah Udechukwu
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What's Left of Me Is Yours is an exceptional novel. ...more
Jeanette (Again)

3.5 stars

Near the end of this book, Sumiko, the main character, uses this Sarte quote in deciding how to move on with her life:

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you."

The essence of this story is the destructive power of deception, and how the lies and secrets reverberate through the generations of a Japanese family. If we choose to lie to a child to protect them from the horrors of reality, at what point, if ever, should we tell them that we lied? How will the new truth affect th
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A late review -- my apologies. But I was deeply moved by WHAT'S LEFT OF ME IS YOURS. It's not a so much a who-done-it as a why-done-it, although there were moments when I began to question in all the best ways what I thought I knew. It's also a tender mother-daughter love story, and the way memory helps shape who we are. Scott is a gifted writer, capturing with precision the small details of everyday life and what they mean to the soul. ...more
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greed, Lies, Love, and Murder.

What’s Left of Me is Yours is an engrossing story of greed, lies, love, and murder. A must-read debut set in Japan in the 90s.

I went out of my comfort zone with this book. I don't usually read crime and mystery, but this story was too intriguing to miss.

It seems that the legal system in Japan is, or at least was in the 90s, very different from what we are used to in America.

For instance, in a divorce, only one of the parents was given full custody of the children
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What’s Left of Me Is Yours is a beautifully written, complex book told in two timelines that masterfully presents the story of Sumiko Sarashima, her mother Rina and the man who becomes her greatest love and the cause of her demise, Kaitaro Nakamura and Yoshi, Rina’s devoted father and the man who ultimately raises Sumiko.

In modern-day Japan, Sumiko learns that the story of her mother’s death when she was seven years old was a lie. Her mother Rina was murdered. Sumiko, now a lawyer, seeks answer
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What happens when love is overpowered by obsession, when greed and spite override logic and empathy; when the only way to stop the person who brought light into your life from leaving you is to bury them in permanent darkness — You get the story of Rina and Kaitarō.

#Whatisleftofmeusyours Inspired by a real murder trial that took place in Tokyo in 2010, this is a story of an old love lost and a new love found, affection cloaked in deception and a crime committed in the name of love. In this fict
Jenny (Reading Envy)
A man hires a firm to seduce his wife so he has grounds for divorcing her, and she is found murdered by her father. The novel moves back and forth in time between the wife and her daughter as an adult, looking into more of the situation surrounding her mother's death. This is based on a real story coming out of Japan and the author took the idea and ran with it. It's a small thing but I also really loved how she writes the surroundings of each scene - it never bogged down the narrative but I alw ...more
Suzanne thebookblondie
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What’s Left of Me is Yours by Stephanie Scott

{Thank you to @doubleday #partner for my advanced review copy}

“We erase events from our lives, experiences that do not fit in with the stories we tell ourselves. Still, there are some memories that hover on the periphery. They reach out to you from another time and transform a moment of joy into one of shame. From then on these recollections stay with you. They linger on the edge of your vision and say, ‘Look at what you are.’”

When Sumiko Sarashima wa
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Fascinating insight into the Japanese culture as well as its criminal and family legal systems. The writing is undoubtedly gorgeous and sensitive. The pacing is slow, perhaps too slow at times especially when the climax is already heralded during the gradual buildup. I was hoping for more of a crime thriller, but the who and why became clear early on. Instead it was partly distorted love story and partly family drama, the latter by far the more intriguing component in portraying the various rela ...more
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written story of family secrets, love and betrayal, and the consequences of it. Taking place in Japan. I've never hear of a Wakaresaseya, a person that is hired to seduce another's spouse. This was thought provoking and I read it straight through. One of the best novels I've read and unlike any I've read. I highly recommend this. A great a great book club pick. Simply brilliant!

Novels N Latte
Hudson Valley NY
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-favorites
Review to come! But I really enjoyed this one. Definitely recommend. :)
What's Left of Me Is Yours is a slow-burning mystery, coming-of-age story, and an examination of love and family. We follow Sumiko as she searches to discover more about her mother, Rina, and how she died. What she uncovers is an unexpected story of love and pain, one that split her family apart. Sumiko has to decide how she will live with what she uncovers—whether she follows in the footsteps of her family, or forges her ow
Lynn Brown
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a beautifully written novel. I am not one for flowery or descriptive writing, but this novel does not waste one word, they are all needed. I was savouring each and every one of them until the story took hold of me, and I found myself reading faster and faster, to know what the outcome would be.

I love books set in Japan and in particular Tokyo, so this was a winner for me from the start. It also introduced me to several new facts about Japan I didn't know such as the subject of the n
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's a lovely story about a girl who tragically loses her mother to what she has always believed to be a car accident and when she grows into adulthood begins to piece together the truth; that her mother was brutally murdered. The story has so many guilty but also innocent parties; the father who hires a man to seduce his wife, the grandfather who learns the truth about this man but fails to tell his daughter, the wife who falls victim to the seduction, the child who accepts the interloper as a ...more
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020

What’s Left Of Me Is Yours by Stephanie Scott is an accomplished debut about love – both romantic and familial – duty and murder. Set in both modern day Japan and the 1990’s it explores what happens when Kaitarō, a wakaresaseya agent is hired by Satō to have an affair with his wife Rina. In the event of divorce an affair would not only be financially advantageous to Satō but it would also mean that he would gain sole custody of their daughter Sumiko.

What Sat
I've long dreamed of going to Japan, so give me a story set there and I'm in. This lit./psychological fiction inspired by a true crime marks the debut of Stephanie Scott, and I loved it.

The story centers on the passionate romance that develops between Rina, a young Japanese wife and mother and the man, Kaitaro, a wakaresaseya, hired by her jerk husband to seduce her and give him grounds for and an advantage in divorce proceedings. (The fact that this is an actual, real occupation in Japan is biz
Maybe Nancy Reads
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In Japan, there is a person known as a "wakaresaseya" - literally known as a breaker-upper, who can be hired by spouse to seduce the other and therefore gain advantage in a divorce. When Osamu Sato hires wakaresareya Kaitaro to seduce his wife Rina, he has no idea what he has set in motion. Kaitaro and Rina fall in love and Rina remains unaware of the circumstances of their meeting. Told in alternating views of Rina in the past and her present now-grown daughter Sumiko, the story unfolds as ever ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. Scott combines all the elements of a brilliant story: psychologically rich characters, nuanced and gripping plot, and a world so real I could taste it. I also felt it given the intensity of the joys and traumas the characters face, made possible by prose which is both poetic and gripping as it drives towards a tragic but inevitable conclusion. I was desperately hoping things would turn out differently despite knowing better and couldn't help but feel the great sadness a ...more
L.A. Starks
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This extraordinary first book by Stephanie Scott tells a story that is at once family-focused (lawyer investigates her mother's death) and exotic to most readers, because it is set in Japan.

Scott acknowledges her debt to the book People Who Eat Darkness. However, readers will find the plot arising from Scott's experience as a Singaporean and British writer who grew up in Southeast Asia as well as her extensive research into the Japanese legal system (a system different from the U.S./UK systems i
My thanks to Orion Publishing Group/W&N for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘What’s Left of Me is Yours’ by Stephanie Scott in exchange for an honest review.

This debut novel is set in modern day Tokyo with flashbacks to the 1990s and was inspired by a true crime that occurred in 2010. It focuses on a young woman’s search for answers about her mother’s life and murder. While the narrative centres on a crime, it is a literary novel exploring family ties and loss.

The novel highlights a covert industry - t
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Poignant novel set in JAPAN

Our You Tube review:


Listening to an audiobook is an immersive experience and I have truly spent the last few days in Japan. The detail and rhythm of the prose make for wonderful imagery.

Sumiko is looking back at her mother Rina’s life. As far as she knows, she was killed in the 1990s in a car accident. But the reader knows from the outset that Rina was in fact murdered by Kaitaro, a wakaresaseya, hired by Sumiko’s father, Sato. A wakar
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
3.5 rounded up to 4.

I will tip my hat to my fellow reviewers who brought this book to my attention. The debut novel of Stephanie Scott is a psychological thriller set in contemporary Tokyo. Based on a criminal trial that occurred in that city in 2010, Scott explores the covert industry of wakaresaseya. These are people hired by a spouse to help break up marriages. The author uses her research to show insights into Japan's legal system and balances it with a blossoming but obsessive love story.

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STEPHANIE SCOTT is a Singaporean and British writer who was born and raised in South East Asia. She read English Literature at the Universities of York and Cambridge and holds an M.St in Creative Writing from Oxford University. Scott was awarded a British Association of Japanese Studies Toshiba Studentship for her anthropological work on What's Left of Me Is Yours and has been made a member of the ...more

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