* Contains no plot spoilers
Japanese author Yukiko Motoya’s collection of short stories have a definitive style and are matched with substance.
It’s obvious that she gets a bit of inspiration from Murakami’s magic realism style, although seen through Yukiko’s lens, the world is from a woman’s perspective. Her stories seem to feature unremarkable everyday on the surface. And yet, there are unexpected and genius surreal undercurrents along with odd yet insightful symbolism.
It’s about women who are losing their spark and trying to regain and reclaim a former sense of self. It’s about keeping one’s own identity, when it’s so easy to lose it in a marriage.
Motoya won a swathe of literary awards for Picnic in the Storm. There are some amazingly creative stories here that are unusual and reminiscent of Murakami. But there are also some other stories that are slow and ponderous and focus far too much on the mundane elements of domestic life, rather than adding forward volition to the plot. It’s overall a bit of a mixed bag this collection, but with some really unique and unusual moments. If you like to read fiction about women from a woman’s perspective and also like the surreal symbolism of Murakami then I think you would like this. 4/5 stars