Mari quits school after her father’s death to help her demanding mother run the Hotel Iris. Behind the reception desk she witnesses a prostitute scream abuse and storm out of the hotel, then hears the voice of the man from the hotel room and is intrigued. She spots him in the street one day and follows.
There are rumours about this man — that he killed his wife, but Mari can’t quell her attraction. Will she be safe with a man so much older than her? Will the rumours prove true? Or will something darker occur?
Read the Guardian’s review on the book cover — this is absolutely true of this macabre tale that I couldn’t put down.
Over two decades ago I saw a haunting Japanese movie based on Kobo Abe’s book that has always stayed with me. It was time to read this strange story of a man who walks into the sand dunes in search of beetles that survive in this unique environment. When the day draws to a close, Niki seeks shelter in a strange village he encounters. He is billeted with a woman living alone and only when he wakes the next morning does he learn his fate. This unique story will have you spitting sand and brushing it off your shoulders with every page turn.
Through his high school years Tsukura has a special relationship with his four best friends. But after he moves to Tokyo to continue his studies, he returns to Nagoya to discover none of his friends want anything to do with him. He is deeply hurt and only sixteen years later when he meets Jane, she encourages him to revisit his friends and find out the mystery behind why he was ostracized.
A moving story about friendships, loss and new beginnings.