The restaurant of love regained by Ito Ogawa

the restaurant of love regained

The restaurant of love regained by Ito Ogawa

Japanese Fiction

Orginal title 食堂かたつむり

Translator – David Karashima

Source – library

Well for my fourth book for Tony’s January in Japan event I decide to take a dive into something different I had seen this book in my library as it stacked next to Yoko Ogawa .I had looked at it and thought it was maybe not the sort of book that appeals ,but with recent talk of not reading or translating enough women into English I decide to give it a whirl .Ito Ogawa is a graduate of Classical Japanese writer ,she has been a writer since 199 writing poetry ,as a lyricist  of her husbands  band fairlife ,this book was her debut novel .

I came home from my part-time job at the Turkish restaurant to find my apartment empty .Literally everything gone .The television ,the washer ,the fridge .the lights ,the curtains .Even the netrance mat had been taken !

The opening lines as Rinko returns home to find her life has taken a turn for the worse .

The restaurant of Love regained is the story of a twenty-five year old girl Rinko ,she is living in the city with her boyfriend when she returns home one day to find her house empty her boyfriend has gone and left her with nothing .She faces a tough decision that is to return home to the mother she ran out on ten years earlier .She does and starts to mend her broken relationship with her family at the same time she opens a very small special restaurant called the snail ,this is a single table that serve the food the customer wants prepared specially every day a different feast that the customer loves  to eat .As a knock on effect strange things start to  happen to the people who visited the restaurant they start to have things go right for them after eating a meal at the snail .

In the beginning , many customers had been attracted by rumours of the snail as the place where dreams come true .nowadays ,people were returning because they simply wanted to eat here again .

The snail starts to become popular with the people who use it .

Well I liked this one not loved it ,it fell into that place I call lite magic realism the tinges of magic realism recalled like chocolate for water ,Chocolat and such .I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy this book but I wasn’t left with the desire to read her books again .But I did want to read a cook book if she did a cookbook at any point ,she does daily recipes on her website in Japan and that is the one thing that did shine through in this book is the writers obvious love of food .The is a touching feeling of family coming together again the bond between mother and daughter being rebuilt was very well written .But over all I would say this is a mid point book in the books I ve read in that I mean it has its good points but also its bad points .I must note this is the 400th book reviewed on winstonsdad as well .

Have you read books that you feel not so strongly drawn too for a change ?

 

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. SilverSeason
    Jan 11, 2014 @ 11:56:12

    Sometimes I read a book feeling very detached from it. I may admire the book, I believe I get the author’s intentions, I may or may not like the characters — but I just don’t care. Somehow I am never involved at more than a very superficial level. It’s not the same as disliking a book; it is indifference.

    Reply

  2. Tony
    Jan 11, 2014 @ 12:05:54

    Not one I’m likely to try, but good to see you trying a variety of J-Lit :)

    Reply

  3. farmlanebooks
    Jan 11, 2014 @ 15:15:13

    It might not have been to your taste, but it sounds like the sort of book I’d enjoy. I love books that mention Japanese food :-)

    Reply

  4. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Jan 11, 2014 @ 16:23:11

    Congrats on reaching 400 Stu! Sometimes I pick up something I’m not sure about just for a change, and it may work or may not. Like SilverSeason sometimes I don’t engage with a book even though I admire it – but I’m trying this year to read what I really love!

    Reply

  5. Guy Savage
    Jan 11, 2014 @ 20:59:29

    Agree with Tony here–this isn’t for me. I get a bit tired of the food and ‘remake your life’ connection. There have been so many books and films on that subject and I’m not that interested in food except whether or not there is any.

    Reply

  6. samstillreading
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 04:54:25

    Congrats on 400!
    I enjoyed this book, but I’m drawn to anything Japanese (many years studying!) I get the feeling of not being part of a book occasionally – I’m not sure if it’s me or the writing just doesn’t appeal. Sometimes I wonder if I picked the same book another time, would I like it more?

    Reply

  7. Trackback: That was the month that was Jan 2014 | Winstonsdad's Blog

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