Fault Lines: Shortlisted for the 2021 Costa First Novel Award

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Fault Lines: Shortlisted for the 2021 Costa First Novel Award

Fault Lines: Shortlisted for the 2021 Costa First Novel Award

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In a country with a myriad of customs and social conventions, she is constantly trying to be what everyone else wants her to be, and has learned to put her own needs and desires reluctantly to one side. When Andrea at Main Street Books said she'd loved this literary novel with echoes of Madame Bovary and a forty-ish female protagonist rethinking her whole life, I snapped it right up. This was the last of a trio of books I found tucked away in a box when I recently moved---all three having stayed in their box over two decades since my last move.

I thought it was poignant how the calmness and dullness of the life she leads at home is contrasted with the vibrancy and cacophony of colours, sights and sounds she is met with when she and Kiyoshi are together. She recognizes she has a beautiful apartment, with a hardworking husband, and two perfect children, yet she is unhappy. Seemingly endless paragraphs are spent discussing feelings and how these feelings make them feel and how these feelings make them act and how they feel about how these feelings are making them act or feel or …. Narrated by Mizuki, a lounge singer turned housewife, the novel instantly immerses the reader in the frustration and disappointment of its protagonist.Itami cleverly presented the differences between a long-term life partnership and a new friendship, and Mizuki’s narration was thoughtful and relatable as she discussed these two relationships. Mizuki is resentful and justifies her affair with the intoxicating Kiyoshi as revenge for her husband's own extra-marital affairs, disdain and neglect. Her children are wonderful, her husband's career affords them a stunning apartment with a balcony, and she wants for nothing. Mizuki, Itami’s protagonist, lives in Tokyo with her husband, Tatsuya, and their two children, daughter Eri and son Aki.

The story is about Mizuki, an affluent Japanese singer-turned housewife who loves her workaholic husband and two beautiful children but has grown lonely and bored with her life. I am still pondering over the title, ‘Fault Lines’, is it a reference to the numerous earthquakes that rock Japan almost daily, or is it referring to her marriage and the lines that have begun to appear? I love that Mizuki's daughter will have a chance to spread her wings in Paris - just as Mizuki's father had done for her. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. Funny, provocative, and startlingly honest, Fault Lines is for anyone who has ever looked in the mirror and asked, who am I and how did I get here?I don’t think this is going to be for everyone, particularly not those who need something to *happen* in a story, nor for those who will feel frustrated at first-world problems and an upper middle class housewife’s ennui. Picture your run-of-the-mill, stereotypical, middle-aged man pulling up to a stoplight in his red Corvette convertible with one hand on the wheel and one arm around his trophy mistress. I enjoyed this rambling confession of a disenchanted Japanese housewife who embarks on a love affair with a man who was (probably) the true love of her life. Now, as the world struggles to recover, it’s tempting to blame what happened on just a few greedy bankers who took irrational risks and left the rest of us to foot the bill.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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