Katie Kitamura’s A Separation

 

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Every once in a while a book will come that will make you question everything you thought you knew about reading. And this is definitely one of those books… by miles and miles, I’d say. I was in a difficult spot in my life when I picked up this book. Yes, personally. But also because I hadn’t quite been able to become completely absorbed in a book for a full two months. As a side note, it took me two months to read a book that would have normally taken me a week and a half, at most. Until I picked up this beautiful copy of A Separation by Katie Kitamura.

Immediately I was completely immersed in this novel, it seriously took one sentence. Words woven so beautifully that they’ll feel like candy you don’t want to stop eating. It lyrically explains everything happening in this woman’s life… and it does so without feeling forced. It shocks you and it makes you feel like the story is all that matters. I read this book within 48 hours, and I would do it all over again.

A young woman has been separated from her husband for six months, and has not spoken to him for one when his mother frantically calls her asking where he is. No one is aware of the separation, so she reluctantly helps her mother-in-law, having absolutely no idea what she is going to find. What she does find is a continuous string of strange occurrences when she puts herself into the small village where her husband last got a hotel room, in Greece.

Everything in this novel is told through a series of almost rambles where we become part of this woman’s brain and the fascinating way she thinks through all the strange life situations being thrown at her. And yet, we learn almost nothing about her, all we know is her occupation. No name, no backstory, no description of what she looks like. But somehow none of that matters, because you still must know what happens to her and her future ex-husband. And the more you learn, the more curious you become, even to the last paragraph.

One of the reasons this novel is so lovely is because it feels like a beautiful coming-of-age tale, but is mixed with the mysterious disappearance of this woman’s husband. Kitamura will punch you in the gut, but leave you begging for more. This year is still early, but I am already 100% positive this book will be in my top five for 2017.

-Melissa

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