Wednesday 11 November 2020

Book Review: The Diving Pool by Ogawa Youko (Short Stories)

Title: The Diving Pool
Author: Ogawa Youko
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 2009 (1990)
eBook - EPUB
Genre: Short Stories / Contemporary
Source: Borrowed from the Library

A lonely teenage girl falls in love with her foster-brother as she watches him leap from a high diving board into a pool - sparking an unspoken infatuation that draws out darker possibilities.

A young woman records the daily moods of her pregnant sister in a diary, but rather than a story of growth the diary reveals a more sinister tale of greed and repulsion.

Driven by nostalgia, a woman visits her old college dormitory on the outskirts of Tokyo. There she finds an isolated world shadowed by decay, haunted by absent students and the disturbing figure of the crippled caretaker.


The Diving Pool is another captivating collection of stories by Ogawa Youko. Each story is engaging and interesting in its own way, not least because of the darkness hiding behind them. All of them are beautifully crafted tales, but I think the title piece was my favourite. One of the things I enjoy most about Ogawa's writing is the many layers she brings to her stories, with subtle twists that give a darker edge to tales that at first seem innocent and harmless. If you are new to Ogawa's writing, this three-story collection would be a good place to start. If you are already a fan of her books, you'll love this one too. 4.5 stars from me.

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