Amalia Gavea's Reviews > The Forest of Wool and Steel

The Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita
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‘’Inhale the scent of a forest close by. I can smell the earthy fragrance of autumn as night falls, the leaves gently rustling, I can feel the damp air of dusk descending.’’

Our story begins in autumn. Tomura, a young man from Hokkaido, starts working as an apprentice to a piano tuner, a charming man named Mr. Yanagi. Tomura meets all kinds of clients, some sensitive, others abrupt and demanding, but no meeting influences him more than the acquaintance of Kazune, an enigmatic young woman, and her twin sister. It is then that Tomura understands his inclination towards the beauty of music through his unique bonding with the forest and the mountains.

‘’When I was walking near the sea, it sounded like the mountains at night.’’

When I was five or six, my mum took me for a walk in Plaka, the most beautiful neighborhood in Athens, a place where one can feel the influence of a centuries-old history, where the quaint houses stand proudly to remind us of a possibly lost innocence and quietness. It was the beginning of summer. As we were walking in one of those unbearably beautiful alleys, the sound of a piano reached us from an open window. This is a moment that is still vivid after many years, its quiet and peace fervent as ever. This is how I felt as I was reading Miyashita’s novel. The sounds and the perfumes, the moonlight gently touching the top of the trees, the sound of the leaves, the smell of the wood. The scenery, the atmosphere comes alive through the pages of this beautiful book.

I travelled to Hokkaido with Tomura and saw the seasons changing, the serene autumn reigning among them. I heard the soft, powerful notes of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and dreamt Kazune’s dreams lulled by Chopin’s Nocturnes. Few things are as beautiful as the melody coming from a piano, a sound that has the power to raise your soul to a revolution or make you dream in the moonlight. It is no easy task to depict this in a novel and yet Miyashita creates such an evocative environment, populated with beautiful characters.

Ιn a tender, heartfelt translation by Philip Gabriel, we come to know Tomura, Mr. Yanagi, Kazune, to feel their wishes and insecurities. As is always evident in Japanese Literature, the characters and the dialogue communicate a deep connection between nature, family values, and beliefs and the road we have decided to walk. Mr. Yanagi helps Tomura fight his doubts and Tomura helps Kazune believe in herself and her vocation.

This novel is a quiet, gentle, atmospheric ode to Nature and Music. To our past and present, to bonding and the belief in ourselves, to the strength we need to discover within us. It is one more example of the uniqueness of Japanese Literature.

‘’Playing the piano is not how I’ll make a living’’, Kazune said. ‘’It’s how I’ll make a life.’’

Many thanks to Penguin Random House UK and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...
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Reading Progress

April 24, 2019 – Started Reading
April 24, 2019 – Shelved
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: asia
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: contemporary
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: japan
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: japanese-literature
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: hokkaido
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: literary-fiction
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley-books
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: autumn
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: world-culture
April 28, 2019 – Shelved as: world-literature
April 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-33 of 33 (33 new)

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message 1: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Wonderful review Amalia


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* A moving and powerful review Amalia. 💕📚


message 3: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Beautiful review Amalia. The Japanese literature I’ve read so far, I’ve loved. So I will definitely look out for this 😊


Amalia Gavea Maureen wrote: "Wonderful review Amalia"

Thank you so much, Maureen!


Amalia Gavea Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* wrote: "A moving and powerful review Amalia. 💕📚"

Thank you so much, Sandy!


Amalia Gavea Sandra wrote: "Beautiful review Amalia. The Japanese literature I’ve read so far, I’ve loved. So I will definitely look out for this 😊"

Thank you so much, Sandra! I hope you'll love it!


message 7: by Anna (new)

Anna Lovely review, Amalia!


Amalia Gavea Anna wrote: "Lovely review, Amalia!"

Thank you, Anna!


message 9: by Julie (new)

Julie I love a quiet novel. Wonderful review, Amalia! 🌹


Amalia Gavea Julie wrote: "I love a quiet novel. Wonderful review, Amalia! 🌹"

Thank you so much, Julie!


message 11: by Candi (new) - added it

Candi A lovely review of what sounds like a lovely novel, Amalia. Books which center on art or music always catch my attention. I'll put this one on my list :)


Amalia Gavea Candi wrote: "A lovely review of what sounds like a lovely novel, Amalia. Books which center on art or music always catch my attention. I'll put this one on my list :)"

Thank you so much, Candi! I think you'll love this one.


message 13: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Dee Great review, Amalia. You hooked me!


Amalia Gavea Melissa wrote: "Great review, Amalia. You hooked me!"

Ιt's a beautiful book.


message 15: by Amalia (last edited Apr 29, 2019 09:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amalia Gavea Amalia wrote: "Melissa wrote: "Great review, Amalia. You hooked me!"

Thank you, Melissa! Ιt's a beautiful book.


David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party Brilliant review as always, Amalia! :)


Amalia Gavea David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party wrote: "Brilliant review as always, Amalia! :)"

Thank you so much, David!


message 18: by Neira (new) - added it

Neira My TBR is delighted with the welcome weight of your recommendations. What a wonderful novel this appears to be! I cannot wait to read it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.


Amalia Gavea Neira wrote: "My TBR is delighted with the welcome weight of your recommendations. What a wonderful novel this appears to be! I cannot wait to read it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it."

Thank you so much for your beautiful comment, Neira! I really hope you'll enjoy this one.


message 20: by Jaline (new)

Jaline Wonderful review, Amalia! :)


Amalia Gavea Jaline wrote: "Wonderful review, Amalia! :)"

Thank you so much, Jaline!


message 22: by Renee (new) - added it

Renee Godding Fantastic review! I had not heard of this one yet, but you completely convinced me to want to read it.


message 23: by Fran (new) - added it

Fran Amalia...an excellent, sensitive review! I added it...thank you!


Amalia Gavea Renee wrote: "Fantastic review! I had not heard of this one yet, but you completely convinced me to want to read it."

Thank you, Renee! I hope you'll enjoy it.


Amalia Gavea Fran wrote: "Amalia...an excellent, sensitive review! I added it...thank you!"

Thank you, Fran!


message 26: by Julie (new)

Julie A reader could tour the world, just by reading your reviews. Beautiful, my friend.


Amalia Gavea Julie wrote: "A reader could tour the world, just by reading your reviews. Beautiful, my friend."

Thank you so much, dearest Julie!


message 28: by Connie (new)

Connie G Beautiful review, Amalia!


Amalia Gavea Connie wrote: "Beautiful review, Amalia!"

Thank you, Connie!


message 30: by Beverly (new) - added it

Beverly Stunningly evocative review Amalia! I can see you and your Mom taking the walk and hearing the music in that glorious setting,


Amalia Gavea Beverly wrote: "Stunningly evocative review Amalia! I can see you and your Mom taking the walk and hearing the music in that glorious setting,"

Thank you, Beverly!


message 32: by Anna (new) - added it

Anna Most beautiful review Amalia, thank you!


Amalia Gavea Anna wrote: "Most beautiful review Amalia, thank you!"

Thank you so much, Anna!


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