[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”1616201371″ locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DGmqnbQ-L.jpg” width=”333″][simpleazon-link asin=”1616201371″ locale=”us”]Hikikomori and the Rental Sister: A Novel[/simpleazon-link] by Jeff Backhaus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Immediately compelling. Emotionally gripping. Instantly there is a mystery with a man who has locked himself in his room for three years, refusing to come out (hikikomori). The book was extremely intimate, sometimes uncomfortably so as the reader is slowly drawn into the pain, frustration, and grief of the three primary characters. The story is beautiful in its compassion and healing as well as forgiveness and insight. What the writer shares about the Korean and Japanese culture is of particular interest. A troubling but engrossing read that leaves the reader feeling emotionally spent but gratified.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, please note I received a free copy from the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.
“Is this a live piano that plays music, or a dead piano that plays only memories” (p. 60)?
“Comfort leads to closeness. Closeness leads to desire. Desire grows uncontrollable. The heavy thing” (p. 91).
“The worst kind of loneliness is when you’re unable to be where you want to be, where you wouldn’t have to be alone” (p. 139).
“No matter how big we try to make our world, in the end it’s just ourselves. We follow ourselves around everywhere” (p. 231).