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Its all meaningful silences interspersed with conversations about sex. The relationships and interactions don’t ring true, and as such aren’t particularly interesting. There is a oddly detached shop owner, a shop assistant in a not particularly convincing, non relationship with one of the other employees and an elder shop assistant who acts as a sort of second rate Confucius dishing out suitably ambiguous ‘advice’.
I guess the reader is supposed to feel enchanted, intrigued and enlightened. I just felt disappointed.
A gentle coming of age romance. The Japanese setting is quite different from similar English 'chick lit' & that is what I enjoyed most. The characters are vivid & often interesting. I never really got a sense of who Hitomi, the protagonist, is, and I found her romance unconvincing and unsatisfying. Glad I read it overall. The reader did a good job, trying to show differences in characters backgrounds by giving them English regional accents. It more or less worked & her voice is very pleasant in both timbre and pacing. Occasionally it jarred when a character expressed a very Japanese sentiment or opinion in a received BBC voice.