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Currently Reading: 「豆の上で眠る」 by 湊かなえ

I am reading the second book of my 2018 Reading challenge! I chose 「豆の上で眠る」by 湊かなえ(みなとかなえ).

I bought this book because it was presented as a “shocking mystery of two sisters” (衝撃の姉妹ミステリー!), but I am slowly discovering that this novel is much more than a mystery. Even if there is a mystery focused on the two sisters Yuiko and Mayuko, the novel mainly turns around the relations between the member of the family. From the striking portrait of the mother to the way a child perceives itself in the family, the complexity of feelings that family members can have for one another confers its deepness to the story.

The novel opens on Yuiko, the little sister, returning home during the Summer. She is now a student, and we feel that this trip back home will be filled with memories of the past. As a reader, we are dragged into a journey that leads us to Yuiko’s childhood and, as far as I can tell, will reveal unspoken bitterness.

At the beginning, the title is explained as Yuiko recalls how her big sister Mayuko used to read her fairy tales, among which, The Princess and the Pea. From the beginning, we are shown scenes of Yuiko and Mayuko’s time together that allow us to grasp the nature of the relationship between the two sisters. The more we read, the more involved we get and the anticipation of the tragedy to come does not let us close the book easily.

It took me some time to get used to the author’s writing style but after having read the first 30-40 pages, I was not puzzled anymore by the novel’s particularities (for example, the narration intermingles memories of the past and actions of the present). I can now read it easily enough to fully enjoy it.

So far, I really love this novel, I am just afraid that I may be reading the best book of my list…

I will post my review as soon as I finish it!

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