Japanese Literature discussion

Twinkle Twinkle
This topic is about Twinkle Twinkle
Book Club > Twinkle Twinkle, by Kaori Ekuni

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message 1: by Bill (last edited Jun 30, 2016 03:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill | 780 comments I haven't seen any response from Christian yet as to what our books are for July 2016, but since I already finished Twinkle Twinkle, I'm going to comment on it.

The novel is about an unusual newlywed couple. The husband is gay, the wife isn't interested in sex, and the two of them have no intention of consummating the marriage. The two of them obviously care about each other a great deal, though in different ways. The husband tries to do everything he can to make his wife happy. The wife grows increasingly angry and unstable as the novel goes on. It's a bit too early to reveal the crisis of the novel, since most people here wouldn't have started it yet, but it's worth discussing once we all get there.

The structure of the novel is in alternating chapters, in first person by the husband or wife. This kept throwing me out of immersion as I tried to spend the first few lines of each chapter verifying who the narrator was, trying not to assume it was strictly alternating. I wish authors would outgrow such linguistic conceits and make it perfectly clear who the current narrator is. Perhaps it was more apparent in Japanese than it is in the translation.

The novel is a very quick read. I finished it in two evenings without really putting any effort into it. I think it's something any of us could make time for this month.

My first impressions of the characters are that the husband is a saint. He does most of the household chores and takes verbal and physical abuse from his wife without complaining. While I admit I'm probably reading into the text here, I think the wife is frustrated by the lack of intimacy in the marriage. She says early on that she's really not into sex, but I don't take that to mean that she's opposed to hugging, kissing, and other pleasantries. I suspect her increasing anger through the novel is a result of living with a man she needs more physical contact from than they agreed to before the marriage.

Christian (comeauch) | 230 comments Thanks for the tip about alternating chapters! ;)

Christian (comeauch) | 230 comments About halfway through and what strikes me the most is how modern the language is. I don't know if it was the translator's job or if the text was like that in Japanese, but I'll definitely read something from her in original.

She really is trying her best to kill that plant lol.

Christian (comeauch) | 230 comments Well now I finished it :P I guess I'll wait to see if other people read it to talk about it (I was admittedly fast: we're July 2nd lol)... but I'll just say that the ending surprised me. Anyway, I found it very enjoyable!

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