One of my 2018 reading goals was to read more books by asian authors and about asian culture, so this book was perfect for that.
I've seen Convenience Store Woman being compared to Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman and while I do see the resemblance, I don't necessarily agree with the comparison.
Eleanor Oliphant was definitely a quirky character (my favorite kind) but I was able to relate to Eleanor on a deep emotional level, while Keiko from Convenience Store Woman felt very detached and unemotional, which I wasn't able to relate to, but enjoyed nonetheless. Both women follow the same thought process, but Convenience Store Woman definitely takes things to a more bizarre and at times, disturbing level.
I absolutely loved the message this book was trying to relay, I just wasn't very keen on it's delivery. While I enjoyed the brisk and to the point writing style, it also felt incomplete at times - I wished to know just a little bit more, just few more details to be able to paint a complete picture.
Maybe I wasn't able to emotionally identify with Keiko much, but the book did make me feel one emotion very strongly - I absolutely despised Shiraha. With every insult he spewed out of his filthy mouth I just wanted to set him on fire and see his skinny, dirty form writhe in pain. He definitely takes a gold for being the most infuriating, hypocritical character ever created! It's astonishing really, how in so little pages a character managed to be so horrid.
This book does a phenomenal job painting the even day horrors of society - it is truly terrifying just how messed up we are.
So, who is Keiko? Is she really broken and needs fixing, like her parents told her all of her life? Or is she the only one who sees things clear? Is she a waste of space or is she a workaholic who lives, breathes and eats her job? You will have to read to find out!
Convenience Store Woman would be perfect for book clubs, school discussions and just any social event involving books. Because this short gem of a novel contains many lessons that need to be heard.
Many thanks to Grove Atlantic, Sayaka Murata, and Netgalley for the copy. All opinions are my own, honest and come from the heart. Convenience Store Woman will be published on June 22, 2018.
Freelance BETA reader.