Book review: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

I treated myself to this book over a month ago. It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and the yellow and pink on the cover attracted me to it. I flicked through the first few pages and wanted to know more.

store

I read the book in one sitting and by the time I finished I wanted to hide the book and not tell anyone about it. I didn’t want to recommend it or share it. I just wanted it to be mine. The author writes in such an authentic way that I felt a connection throughout. Plus the fictional character demonstrates real growth in this book – and I generally find that most authors are unable to convey character growth and development in such an earnest way. I can’t say much more without giving the story away.

But why wouldn’t I want to share it? Because I felt that others wouldn’t understand the central character and may ridicule her choice and with it me, and what it means to be ourselves.

This book is many things, but most of all, to me, it is a stinging critique of what we consider worthwhile, how we define progress and how we imbue ourselves with value that we derive directly from the work we do rather than from those we love. It also reveals how women are perceived in societies that continue to define and value work from a male perspective. I give this book 5 stars and a thumbs up for the super-cool cover.

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