The Lake

The Lake

Book - 2011
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The tale of a young woman who moves to Tokyo after the death of her mother, hoping to get over her grief and start a career as a graphic artist.
Publisher: Brooklyn, N.Y. : Melville House, 2011
ISBN: 9781933633770
1933633778
Branch Call Number: FICTION YOSHIMOTO 2011
Characteristics: 188 pages ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Emmerich, Michael - Translator

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p
Pisinga
Jun 15, 2016

I think this book would be closer to the Japanese people because of customs, way of life and view of life described therein.
It looks like that the author tries to put too much drama and mystery in something that in reality is not as mysterious or secret or intriguing.

j
jimg2000
May 21, 2015

The most recent book by the award winning writer Yoshimoto whose main themes are “the exhaustion of young Japanese in contemporary Japan” and “the way in which terrible experiences shape a person’s life”; and this one is a love story and mystery based on exactly that. While it built up slowly on the relationship of a pair of young adults, it ended with a secret that I knew was coming but not what I had imagined.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 22, 2014

Painfully reflective novel that moves at a slow pace as its characters come to terms with grief, trauma, and the kindling of trust.

l
lynnmoses
Apr 12, 2013

lyrical, seamless at first, like a lovely poem, then the story takes over and is a bit dull and inevitable. a love story, two young people, not very earth shattering revelations treated as profound.
not riveting

"When pitched just right, this style feels honest and unpretentious, but when the prose goes loose, it can easily turn slack and sentimental. Its casual deftness thickens into heavy-handed cliche or overly simplistic strokes of assertion. The plot of The Lake is often bogged down by ruminations that meander into overly familiar territories -- emotional zones explored in so many novels, perhaps, that they give the sense of having been too many times trodden. We encounter the signature pleasures of a Yoshimoto novel, but they feel more diffuse here -- more vaguely drawn, and less frequent -- than in her strongest novels." - Leslie Jamison, San Francisco Chronicle

b
bluehydrangea
Dec 11, 2011

This story is like a fairy tale made up off the cuff and told night by night over several weeks, with bits that end up going nowhere. I found the main character, Chihiro really sympathetic but her relationship with Nakajima which drives the plot, or as much of it as there is, didn't really grab me & I just couldn't warm to him as a character. You keep reading, and want to finish the book, but you ask yourself why!? Mysterious.

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j
jimg2000
May 21, 2015

on dad: I guess my mom was all he had—the one flower that smelled like freedom. He was careful never to let outside business intrude on the spaces he shared with my mom. He made it seem like the man he was at home was who he really wanted to be. Whenever he came to spend time with us, he threw himself into household tasks: fixing the roof, puttering in the garden, going out to eat with my mom, checking my homework, tuning up my bike.

j
jimg2000
May 21, 2015

on mom: One was sociable and upbeat, a woman of the world who lived in the moment and seemed like a really cool person to be around; the other was extremely delicate, like a big, soft flower nodding gently on its stem, looking as if the slightest breeze would scatter its petals. The flowerlike side wasn’t easy to recognize, and my mom, always eager to please, tried hard to cultivate the feisty, easygoing side of her personality. Watering it, rather than the flower, with lots of love, fertilizing it with people’s approval.

j
jimg2000
May 21, 2015

on the pair:
Here we were, two ridiculously fragile people, sliding along on a very thin layer of ice all the time, each of us ready to slip and take the other down at any moment, the most unsteady of couples—and yet I believed what I had said. It would be all right.
===
There are other interesting quotes at goodreads - the translation, easy read for ESL Japanese youth readers - may not do justice to the author's original spirit:

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/13216114-mizuumi?page=1

j
jimg2000
May 21, 2015

on mother and daughter:
My mom spoke to me. “You know, Chihiro, darling—all it takes is one little wrong step and you end up feeling frustrated your whole life, like me. If you’re always angry, always yelling at people, ultimately that just means you depend on them.”

All throughout my childhood, whenever my eyes fluttered open at night, my mom would be there, giving my bare stomach a gentle pat, rearranging my pajamas, spreading the blanket over me. How many times had I seen her do this? This is what it means to be loved … when someone wants to touch you, to be tender … My body still remembers that feeling, even now.

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CHRISTOPHER MAK Apr 23, 2012

CHRISTOPHER MAK thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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