I’m not familiar with Japanese literature but I had always heard great things about it and I wanted to see what it was like. I’d come across Haruki Murakami before when I’ve been exploring book stores, so when this book caught my eye I knew I’s found a great book to introduce myself to Japanese literature.
I will say now that unlike most western fiction I’ve read, not all of the plots within the story or resolved or explained – I know this would irritate some and I’m not sure if this is typical of Japanese literature but I will admit that I absolutely loved this about the book. Not everything is explained in life, and I’ve seen so many great stories rushed at the end to tie up all the plots that in life might remain mysteries forever.
The plot of the book is Tsukuru Tazaki, a man without a colour in his name, finally being persuaded to find out why his group of school friends, who were as close as a groups of teenagers can when everything stays platonic, suddenly cut him out of his life.
I read the book when I was struggling with a bout of depression, and reading the first chapter where the character is talking about it feels to come close to death because the life has been drained out of him by depression was a bit difficult, but did make me very grateful that I have never been that bad and that I’ve always had support.
The plot is very delicately unwound and I loved the polite atmosphere of the book, which I know is very reflective of Japanese society. I loved the character of Sara though, who gave a great deal of sparky personality to the book, who is a very good role model for anyone who suffers and needs to be supported as they find out why their life has turned out as it has in order for them to heal and move on.
Tazuki’s pilgrammage takes him through a reflective journey of the happiest and most traumatic events of his past, journeying through music, lost friendships, back to his hometown and eventually all the way to Finland in order to seek answers.
The tale is beautiful and a great story to read of someone journeying towards healing themselves after hurt. I loved the book; it is a great introduction to Japanese literature and an inspiration to take your own journey towards a better acceptance of yourself.