Jenna's Reviews > The Memory Police

The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
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it was amazing
bookshelves: i-would-recommend, read-in-2019

4.5 stars - (#partner @pantheonbooks) • I flew through The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa. This book is set on an island where things disappear. Perfume, emeralds, even birds. When an object disappears, all memories of the objects fade. The disappearances are reinforced by the Memory Police, who track down those who remember and make them disappear too. The unnamed narrator of this book is a novelist. She decides to take a risk and hide her editor, R, who remembers things, with the help of her friend the old man.

The tone of this book is chillingly calm. The narrator and others on the island accept the disappearances as a fact about which nothing can be done, for the most part, and go about their “normal” lives the best they can. It’s quietly terrifying.

In this book, you also get to see the book the narrator is writing, about a woman who has lost her voice. The parallels to her life on the island are unnerving. Throughout the book, our narrator worries about what will happen if words disappear.

My favorite part of this book was the relationship between the narrator and the old man. It isn’t clear exactly who he is to her, besides the husband of her former nanny. Their care for each other and commitment to helping R despite the high stakes and consequences if they were to be caught left me feeling so much hope and fear at the same time.

I highly recommend this eerie and unsettling book. I read it so fast - it will for sure be in my top books of the year. Perfect for women in translation month, too
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Reading Progress

August 11, 2019 – Started Reading
August 15, 2019 – Finished Reading
August 16, 2019 – Shelved
August 16, 2019 – Shelved as: i-would-recommend
August 16, 2019 – Shelved as: read-in-2019

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