REVIEW: Fault Lines

 “Maybe in all those years of happy marriage, Tatsu thought that Nice Wife Mizuki was the Real Me and was disappointed when the fault lines started to appear.”

 The expectations for marriages in Japanese culture are clear - the Japanese characters for wife translate as “inside the house”; the characters for husband to “the main person”.  Mizuki doesn’t fit the mold. It’s sad that she sometimes wishes she had never lived in New York, because then she wouldn’t know that women could be the protagonists in their own lives, and maybe she would be satisfied with being a wife and mother.

 Mizuki loves her children and her husband, but she’s so deeply unsatisfied that when she meets Kiyoshi it’s as if she has rediscovered another life she could have lived. Exploring Tokyo with him provides a distraction from her suicidal thoughts, makes her feel like she could have a larger life.

 I love reading debut novels by fantastic writers because I know there is more to come. A talented writer can introduce you to characters and you feel like you know them. They can take you to foreign places and it’s as real as if you had actually been there. I was captivated by the sharp voice and seamless storytelling in this novel. I will be watching for Itami’s next book.

I received a digital review copy of Fault Lines in Edelweiss+ by HarperCollins.

Fault Lines
Emily Itami
224 pages
published September 7, 2021 by HarperCollins Canada


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