Title: South of the Border, West of the Sun
Author: Haruki Murakami
Publication Date: 2003 (1992)
Source: Birthday Gift
Growing up in the
suburbs in post-war japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had
brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only
child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's
record collections. but when his family moved away, the two lost touch.
Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found
happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a
jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped
Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present. (Goodreads Synopsis)
I have yet to find a Murakami book I haven't liked. South of the Border, West of the Sun is a simple and quick read, and yet it manages to pack in a great deal of emotion and thought-provoking ideas on the nature or time, memory and desire. This book will clearly appeal to established Murakami fans, but I think it would also be a good place to start for those approaching him for the first time as it is a short and easy read that gives you a good idea about the style of this writing.