Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rental Sister

Hikikomori and the Rental Sister
Hikikomori and the Rental Sister

Jeff Backhaus

ISBN: 978-1-61620-137-1


4 Stars-----library thing giveaway

hikikomori, n hikika’mouri; literally pulling inward; refers to those who withdraw from society.---Taken from the back of the book.

Thomas, an American, has withdrawn from life.  He will not leave his room and barely speaks to his wife who stays by his side and still fights for what once was.  Megumi, a Japanese immigrant, has run to America to forget her traumatic past and finds herself hired by Thomas’ wife to be his rental sister.  Thomas and Megumi slowly form a bond in his room that proves to them that they have lives to live; lives they may have damaged.

I will admit that if I would have written this review last night when I finished reading I would have given it less stars. The thought of throwing the book crossed my mind near the end because it made me so angry.  I knew that, so I slept on it and can be less emotional about it now.  The fact that I was angry really is a good thing (the author did something right) and I can recognize that.

I will also admit that I did not like either Thomas or Megumi, both of which are the protagonists.  That also isn’t a bad thing.  They were both vivid and relatable, so this was not the author’s failure.  There was something unlikable about them for me.  Maybe it was the fact that I could predict where the story was going, which by the way, is my one complaint about this story.  The novel is surprisingly calm and flows so smoothly that it was surprising that it elicited such strong emotions from me.  My poor husband had to hear all about it.   

A huge positive side effect of this one is the fact that I learned something new.  Immediately I was looking up Hikikomori and rental sisters.  I find the whole thing fascinating and am looking for more books on the subject.   This is another novel I will recommend.


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