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Book Club > Kitchen : February 2014 Read

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Courtney Ward (courtneyajw) | 13 comments Share your thoughts, questions, observations about Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto here!

message 2: by Erin (last edited Feb 05, 2014 09:44AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erin | 14 comments Does anyone feel like details about the character's environments are a kind of window into their personality? It seems like Mikage (and the reader) absorbs a lot of information about the Tanabe family from being introduced to their home.

message 3: by David (new)

David (pincho) Hi!
I read this book some years ago and I really enjoyed. I am going to read it again so I can comment about it more in detail :)

Courtney Ward (courtneyajw) | 13 comments I'm finally getting started on Kitchen. So far, I definitely agree that the their environment is extremely important to understanding the chanracter's personality.

Yuichi's directness is one of my favorite things about his character as well as the way it tends to catch Mikage by surprise. I'm looking forward to finishing and seeing how things evolve with Mikage and the Tanabe family.

Erin | 14 comments I like his directness, too. Later in the story it seems like we see another side of him, in which he seems to be mired in feelings he doesn't know what to do with. But I think that makes him pretty sympathetic as well.

message 6: by David (new)

David (pincho) I have finished the book, and I have to admit that this time I didn't enjoy it as much as the first time I read it some years ago. I liked the first part of the story with Eriko. I also think that their environment is really important to understand their personality. And I liked a lot some descriptions.

In my opinion the second part is bit weaker, although I enjoyed the ending.

As per the short story that it's included at the end ("Moonlight Shadow"), I didn't like it at all. I knew from the beginning, as soon as she met Urara, what was going to happen (and I didn't remember it from when I read it some time ago) and I just think the whole plot is a bit dull.

Erin | 14 comments I just finished the book, too...I want to comment on what you wrote, David, but it is chock full of spoilers. So here...
(view spoiler)

Erin | 14 comments In a completely different tangent, does anyone have any favorite quotes or passages from the book so far?

message 9: by Courtney (last edited Feb 13, 2014 11:21AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Courtney Ward (courtneyajw) | 13 comments I finished the book this morning and I really enjoyed it. I also appreciated how the ending worked out. I think I was expecting a little bit more. But I guess that's also the point of the story - Together they just take life as it comes and slowly move on after their loved ones death.

My spoiler comments... (view spoiler)

I think Moonlight Shadow has the potential to be a pretty good Magical Realist story but the obvious purpose of Urara's character is a bit discouraging. I would have enjoyed it much more had things been less overt.

message 10: by Erin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erin | 14 comments Aw, I quite liked Moonlight Shadow! And I liked it for some of the same reasons that I liked Kitchen. I think she describes coming to terms with death very well, and I felt like she continued to do that pretty well in "Moonlight Shadow." I liked the moments between Hiiragi and the main character too.
It's funny, I just read another Banana Yoshimoto story, "Hard Boiled and Hard Luck" - another two story book, and both stories ALSO dealt with narrators dealing with the death of someone close to them. Is this the same theme in all of her stories?

Costas Ioannou (greek_tornado) | 8 comments I've finished reading the first part of the book (up to Moonlight Shadow). I can't say I was all that impressed. It had an interesting theme and characters, but I felt like the story wasn't explored sufficiently. The ending also felt very abrupt.

I was a little slow in reading this, too many real-life responsibilities, but i hope to finish it in the next few days.

Costas Ioannou (greek_tornado) | 8 comments Just finished it.
I think I liked Moonlight Shadow quite a bit. It was short and to the point, and for some reason I could relate to the characters' felling more than I did with Kitchen. It may have been a little cheesy and predictable, but sometimes that's not such a bad thing.

All in all, a good book. Not great, but pretty good.

Courtney Ward (courtneyajw) | 13 comments I think it is a consistent theme but I'll definitely be reading more books by Banana Yoshimoto. I think The Lake might be next on my list. From the synopsis, it has the same theme as well. It even a mother who owns a bar apparently.

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