The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto (Melville House, 2011)
Finished reading on October 28
There was a sentence on page 25 that captured me:
“The intensity of a person unafraid of death at the end of his rope.”
Usually it’s difficult for me to pinpoint exactly when a book got interesting for me. But with “The Lake”, it was with that sentence. It gave off some kind of clarity and purpose.
The Novel tells a story of a man and a woman who live across the street from each other. They meet standing looking out of their windows, not really saying anything, just nodding at each other when they see the other person. That’s how it starts. The woman, Chihiro, is an artist, the man, Nakajima, a student at a medical school. The woman’s mother has just died and it seems to give a push forward to Chihiro’s and Nakajima’s relationship. Nakajima is a mystery, or rather the mystery, which is lurking around in the book until on the final pages it jumps out.
But what it is, you’ll find out if you read it yourself.
I liked it.
First it was because of how the main characters meet. And the way Nakajima says he feels empty, when Chihiro’s window is dark.
I know that feeling, even if the window has been just a random one I can see from my window. Being awake at a late hour all alone is somewhat sad, but seeing that some other neighbour is up as well makes it feel a little better, though seeing the last window go dark is almost as if having to say goodbye to a person you haven’t seen for a long time, who you have to leave just after having said hello…
And sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a real window, might be a window on some chat or instant messaging program.
In the end it was good because of it’s melancholy, it seems cold and strange, but it all will start to make sense.