Martina the Book Fairy's Reviews > Kitchen

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
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's review
Oct 15, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: girl-next-door, sonoma-park-bookclub, japanese, short-stories

Kitchen is another book that I would have never picked up by myself, but it was the book-of-the-month for my neighborhood book club. It's actually two novellas, with Kitchen being the first, and Moonlight Shadow being the second.

Kitchen is about a young woman, Mikage, who was an orphan living with her grandmother. Her parents died when she was very young and her grandfather passed away a number of years ago, too. Now, her grandmother is gone, too, and Mikage is alone in the world, depressed, with nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Suddenly, Mikage gets an offer to live with a young man whom her grandmother knew - and his mother, who used to be his father - and Mikage's life is changed.

Moonlight Shadow is about another young woman who has just lost her childhood sweetheart in a car accident. It's only been two months and she's not coping well. She spends hours just staring over the bridge into the river and going over memories of him in her head. Then, one morning she meets a mysterious woman who teaches her how to hope, anticipate, and feel joy again.

I'm still a little unsure what I feel about both of these novellas. I enjoyed Moonlight Shadow more than Kitchen. Kitchen has a loosely written plot where it's the journey that matters - not the ending and books like that always leave me feeling unsettled. Moonlight Shadow appealed to me more as it has a little more definitive ending and with a paranormal element, at that! Imagine my surprise! Still, both stories deal heavily with death, loss, and grief and are well written. I enjoyed them, but probably won't pick up anything else from this author on my own.

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