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Monday, 24 June 2019

#20BooksOfSummer #BookReview Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata


Guess who went to the library?! Guess who picked up a 'little' book she'd think would be perfect for her #20booksofsummer challenge - blatantly disregarding, once more, the list she spent hours putting together before the challenge started?! Yep - me!!  And once more I seem to have discovered another little gem of a book at only around 176 pages long!  Book 8 is done and dusted!!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers' style of dress and speech patterns so she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life but is aware that she is not living up to society's expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko's contented stasis—but will it be for the better?

Sayaka Murata brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan. With some laugh-out-loud moments prompted by the disconnect between Keiko's thoughts and those of the people around her, she provides a sharp look at Japanese society and the pressure to conform, as well as penetrating insights into the female mind. Convenience Store Woman is a fresh, charming portrait of an unforgettable heroine that recalls Banana Yoshimoto, Han Kang, and Amelie.



MY REVIEW


Really enjoyed this short but sweet story of Keiko who was sick of people telling her off for being different, so did all she could to be the same as everyone else but still gets people telling her to do things differently! She can't win!!

Keiko is 36 and has worked in the local convenience store for 18 years. She loves the routine and gets to study people as they go about their daily business, picking up new traits to copy in her bid to 'be normal' and fit in! Even as a young child she was thought of as odd - she would do what she thought was necessary in certain situations but that would often lead to her being told off. So her only option then was to conform and be like everyone else.

And her daily routine hasn't altered much over the years, until a new employee turns up and his disregard for doing the right thing and what is expected troubles and fascinates her! He doesn't last long at the store but soon finds himself part of her life as his outlook on the world is pretty similar to hers - he's an outcast because he doesn't want to be like everyone else and others can't understand his ways.

This is definitely a quirky read and brilliantly observed. Teaching you to be true to yourself and that being different isn't a bad thing, despite what society says, thinks and expects! Really enjoyable!

★★★★

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