Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto: Book Review

“As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and I will hit rock bottom again and again. Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won’t let my spirit be destroyed.”

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Goodreads Synopsis: Two stories, “Kitchen” and “Moonlight Shadow,” told through the eyes of a pair of contemporary young Japanese women, deal with the themes of mothers, love, transsexuality, kitchens, and tragedy.

Commentary: I feel like the translation of the novel didn’t make this story as enjoyable as I thought it would be. The first story, Kitchen, is about a young girl Mikage who loses her grandmother and she gets adopted by the Tanabe family. She becomes friends with her adoptive family and moves out by the time she gets over her depression. Mikage overcomes her sadness and finds a joy in cooking. She later gets a job as a cook and feels happier with her life, but depression enters her life again when Eriko. It’s a bittersweet story, but sadly I couldn’t connect to the characters. I wish I understood Japanese just so I can read it in its original form, maybe it would change my mind about this book. I found the second story, Moonlight Shadow, to be more enjoyable. Satsuki jogs every day to forget about her grief. She meets a woman with strange powers that allows her to see her dead boyfriend one last time Both stories are sad, but I found the second one to be a bit sadder than the first one. Sadly, I don’t think I would remember this story and will forget about it too.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

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