Lessons in love and forgiveness through letters.
“As I walk every day, I strangely relish how my decision to turn right or left becomes the essence of life.”
~ Teru miyamoto, Kinshu, Autumn Brocade
This epistolary novel (one that is in the format of letters), set in Japan, chronicles the relationship between a woman and her ex -husband.
Thirty-five-year-old Aki is in a gondola in Mt. Zao when she sees Yasuaki, her ex-husband. She remembers how, ten years earlier, they parted bitterly after he survived the attempted-murder by his mistress who then killed herself.
As Aki and Yasuaki write to one another, their letters reveal the history of their relationship, and what happened to them after they divorced. The exchange of letters provides them with a therapeutic conversation that allows them to move through resentment and misunderstandings.
The language of this novel is simple yet descriptive, delving into observations about love and connection, as well as providing tempered but telling insights into Japanese culture.
Glimpses into Japanese culture and the lush but controlled language may intrigue lovers of Asian culture.
According to the afterword, ‘kinshu‘ is a compound of words meaning ‘brocade’ and ’embroidery,’ suggesting that this is a brocade of a relationship and life.
If this title interests you, check out:
The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura