Tuesday 7 April 2020

Book Review: Spring Snow by Mishima Yukio (Modern Classic)

Title: Spring Snow
Author: Mishima Yukio
Publisher: Vintage

Publication Date: 2000 (1968)
Modern Classics
Bought Copy


Tokyo, 1912. The closed world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders - rich provincial families, a new and powerful political and social elite.

Kiyoaki has been raised among the elegant Ayakura family - members of the waning aristocracy - but he is not one of them. Coming of age, he is caught up in the tensions between the old and the new, and his feelings for the exquisite, spirited Satoko, observed from the sidelines by his devoted friend Honda. When Satoko is engaged to a royal prince, Kiyoaki realises the magnitude of his passion.

Spring Snow was a riveting tale from start to finish. After discovering Mishima's writing recently, I am now devouring everything of his I can find. His prose is such easy reading, yet with great depth of feeling, and his character portrayal is superb. In the case of Spring Snow, I loved following Kiyoaki's journey, both the literal aspects of it and the psychological ones. The prose was beautifully descriptive without being overblown, and there was plenty of intrigue and action to keep me turning the pages. It is a stunning character study for those who like character-driven stories. And if you haven't read anything by Mishima, I highly recommend giving his works a try. This is the first book in a four-part series and I am keen to read on as soon as I get the opportunity to acquire copies of the remaining three volumes.

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