By Clarissa Goenawan
Soho Press, 9781616958558, March 2018, 336pp.
The Short of It:
Readers of Haruki Murakami will absolutely love Rainbirds. It has all the elements that I enjoy in Japanese literature yet still presents its own unique voice.
The Rest of It:
Ren Ishida’s sister has been murdered. The situation surrounding her death is rather mysterious. Not a lot is known and since Ren and his sister haven’t seen each other recently, he’s not able to contribute any valuable information towards the investigation. Nonetheless, he feels compelled to visit the place of her death and to perhaps retrieve her belongings with the hope of finding some key piece of evidence.
In the process, he finds himself living in her old room and teaching in her previous teaching position. He meets a woman who does not speak, a young student who has a mysterious way of showing up every time he thinks of her, a childhood friend he hasn’t seen in years and he is continually visited in his dreams by a young girl in pigtails. Who is she? What is she trying to tell him? Does she know something about his sister’s death?
As a Murakami fan, I noted mentions of ears, music, food and cats. Yep, they are all here.
I LOVED Rainbirds. It’s one of those quiet, introspective reads that I adore. It’s thoughtful, very much a page-turner and the story is fluid and seamless. I highly recommend it.
For more information on the author, click here.