Banana Yoshimoto

banana yoshimoto

Have I told you lately how much I love to read? No? Well, here I go again!

I’m really into reading but there are times when I’m very put off by reading. I’ll begin to see reading as more of a chore rather than something that I enjoy. I don’t really understand why I get into this sort of funk but there are beautiful words that begin to pull me out of it. Jane Austin slowly nudged me back into books and then Banana Yoshimoto took over last month and pulled me in deeper. Thank you for bringing me back into these written wonders.

The words below aren’t really reviews but more just what I was thinking as I read the novels and little thoughts about them. Please click the links to get a real review of the novels and maybe even pick up a copy for yourself.

Kitchen

I first read Banana Yoshimoto in 2015 while I was sitting on a beach in Croatia and I was transported to her world in Kitchen. I didn’t read up about the book or the author before venturing into the pages, instead I simply brought it along because it was small. I was pleasantly surprised by the deeper elements in the novel rather then the lighthearted novel that I first thought it would be.

This novel was the perfect example of a book that you didn’t want to put down. I had to stop myself from glancing over the next page so I wouldn’t spoil the story for myself. Not only was the novel interesting, there was a novella, Moonlight Shadow, that was depressingly great and that was came after Kitchen ended.

Asleep

These three stories were actually quite difficult to read. They all dealt with the death of someone that the protagonist loved immensely. Like many other individuals, I find death a difficult topic to approach and so it took me longer than I would’ve liked to read these stories. I liked the first story, Night & Night’s Travelersthe most because it dealt with a relationship I could most easily relate to, even though I’ve never been in the position poor Mari was in.

Love Song and Asleep were a more difficult to read through because they had elements of a life that I haven’t dealt with and probably never will. I still found something in each of the pieces that resonated with me, which was the intentional or unintentional loss of contact with an important friend.

Hardboiled & Hard Luck

Hardboiled begins and ends with the protagonist on a hike trying to come to terms with the death of her ex-lover. Again, I can’t relate to the death of a close loved one but I guess I can understand her desire to go to a location where she could wash away the memories that are haunting her and wake up renewed. I too am attempting to venture to a place where I can renew my mind and my outlook on my life. The supernatural elements that were a part of this novel were really interesting too, I never find myself gravitating to supernatural writing so it was a pleasant (and unpleasant) surprise.

Hard Luck was an interesting combination of a love story and a sad story…then again aren’t most love stories essentially sad stories? The story’s ending made me feel more optimistic then some other endings in Yoshimoto’s novels.

The End

It’s an odd thing to say (maybe it’s just because my memory isn’t the best) but Yoshimoto’s novel are ones that completely envelope you, take you as their prisoner for a short time, and then drop you back in to the real world with no recollection of the words you just consumed. You feel satisfied but mildly incomplete. Then again it might just be me.

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