Friday, January 4, 2013
Hikikomori and the Rental Sister
A hikikomori is a shut-in--one who shuts him- or herself in by choice. A man has become a hikikomori after the death of his son. He is punishing himself for killing his son. But did Thomas actually kill his son? His wife tries desperately to get him out of his padlocked room to no avail. So she hires Megumi, a rental sister, to try to persuade Thomas to leave. Sometimes life just isn't what we expect it to be--now, or ever. It can surprise you.
I have been head over heels for this book since I read it late last year. I have been telling everyone that I have found this incredible book that you must read. The chapters toggle between Thomas's first-person thought process and third-person understanding of Megumi. I grew to know Megumi and the hurt in her past. My heart absolutely bled for Silke, Thomas's wife, who only wants her husband back so that they may move past their grief and form a life together again. I grieved with this couple and I rooted for them. I wanted all of these characters to simply find their way in this crazy maze of life.
Backhaus has written a most elegant yet halting novel that made me wish I could know what is happening in his brain and, of course, when his next book is coming out. I was shocked at the love I had for this book and the utter and complete need I feel to get this book in your hands. It's fairly short and can be read in a manageable amount of time and it is certainly worth picking up for the long, cold winter afternoons by the fire. This book is so lovely. Have I mentioned yet that you must read it?
Get this book for yourself, and fast: