Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Strange Weather...

“If the love is true, then treat it the same way you would plant - feed it, protect it from the elements - you must do absolutely everything you can. But if it isn't true, then it's best to just let it wither on the vine.” 

I am so pleased every time I manage to read a book by a Japanese writer, and the Easter holiday gave me this chance. "Strange Weather in Tokyo" is a lovely book, perfectly suited for a few days off work, when the weather outside makes you stay indoors and read. The story captured perfectly that special Japanese like mood, in which everything takes time, from asking someone how they have been to telling them you love them.

In fact, the novel has two titles "The Briefcase" and "Strange Weather in Tokyo" and I still did not manage to discover why the author allowed this to happen. Needless to say, both titles describe bits and pieces of what happens between the two characters, a woman in her thirties and her former teacher, a much older man, constantly called "sensei". The two of them spend nights on end in a bar, sharing little but still getting closer and closer, until one of them says "I love you". What happens next and whether they manage to leave their solitude aside to share time and space together is for you to discover. :)

"Being in love makes people uncertain." 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Marriage - the final frontier?

"Marriage" was written by Dan Coman, a writer from my town who is 40 years old and who seems quite prolific when it comes to writing and publishing in Romanian or in anthologies from all around Europe.
The book appeared this year and I decided to read it because I met with mixed reviews and I wanted to check for myself. Also, I am always eager to discover new Romanian writers, especially those coming from my area, with whom I can seem to relate on quite a few levels, ranging from local venues to attitudes deriving from the regional ethos...

"Today I realized I am no longer in love with him. I love him with a sad love, rather the man I want him to be and whom I always have on my mind than the real one."

The book starts quite interestingly, with his thoughts on being bored with his wife and what happens in his uninspired life as a high school teacher. Then, we get her side and how much she is willing to either get a divorce because she feels she is unloved in her marriage, or to sacrifice her needs and prioritize those of her two children and her husband. These movements from 'she said' - 'he said' are mixed with extracts from a book, one written by the third character in the novel, Daria, who seems to be the link that keeps the couple together... for how long and with what consequences is for you to discover.
I enjoyed the story and the characters' obscure feelings up to the last 30 pages when I felt the writer pushed the story into a very questionable territory, and everything seemed to highly diminish in importance from that moment. But you should judge for yourself!