Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Pale View of the Hills

A Pale View of the Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
Fiction/ Literature

A Pale View of Hills tells the story of Etsuko, a Japanese woman now living in England.
Etsuko's youngest daughter is visiting her from London after the suicide of her oldest daughter. Etsuko tells the story about the time when she was living in Nagasaki just after WWII. She is pregnant with her daughter and living with a cold and domineering husband. She embarks on a strange friendship with a mysterious woman and her young daughter.

Ishiguro interweaves the present and the past, England and Japan in a delicate narrative. The reader does get caught up in the story but the ending is what you make of it. I love Ishiguro's style of writing but I find the conclusions are a bit wanting. Things are not 'neatly wrapped in a bow'. I think this book could be re-read to get 'more' out of the story.

First Line: "Niki, the name we finally gave my younger daughter, is not an abbreviation; it was a compromise I reached with her father."


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