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Fault Lines: Shortlisted for the 2021 Costa First Novel Award

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There were also some laugh out loud moments including a brash American’s faux pas at a dinner party while the guests try not to make their horror apparent. Her life is airless, packed with stultifying tasks: “Japanese motherhood and its attendant housewifery is a cult,” says Mizuki. From Kiyoshi and Mizuki’s adventures visiting restaurants in Tokyo to Mizuki and her kids participating in Japanese traditions, I really enjoyed learning a bit about Japanese culture, language, attitudes and lifestyle.

In this thoughtful, compassionate book Karl Pillemer shows that it need not be permanent and his perceptive, gentle guidance lights the way to reconciliation. The description of the scene when the cherry blossom comes out in Tokyo particularly stands out for this quality of writing. As she begins to spend more and more time with Kiyoshi, she opens herself up to new experiences and learns important things about herself. But if you get to know somebody, and find out you laugh at the same things, and share strange tics; if it gets so good you only need to catch their eye to know what they're thinking, you are, it is blindingly clear, totally screwed.

This was another Marmite book, but yet again, after hearing the author chat about the book, her upbringing and her hectic life as a mum, author and teacher, the book took on a whole new meaning. He traces the deepening fault lines in a world overly dependent on the indebted American consumer to power global economic growth and stave off global downturns. At any rate, the narrator of this audiobook, Lydia Wilson, has a British accent, so I don't understand the accusations of discordance from some GR reviewers. At 16, Mizuki travels from her rural Japanese province to New York City to spend a year in an American high school, where she learns to be assertive and pursues an interest in music. It’s really hard to tell you all how much I loved Fault Lines, because I want you to read it to see for yourselves.

This is an extremely important and insightful guide for anyone wrestling with the heartbreak of estrangement.

It meant that a whole new world of spontaneity and opportunity opened up to her, which she loved being part of and presented her with numerous opportunities to pursue a completely different life as a singer. Mizuki is a Japanese housewife married to Tatsuya and living in a luxury apartment with their two beautiful children in the buzz, excitement and sparkle of Tokyo. Emily Itame’s transporting debut, Fault Lines, guides readers through the streets of Tokyo from the perspective of Mizuki and her wonderfully honest and often existential thoughts. You get the feeling that she is not so much justifying to the reader why she has started the relationship, but why she feels she needs to end it.

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