Author: Mishima Yukio
Publication Date: 2000 (1954)
Genre: Modern Classic
Source: Birthday Gift
Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. It tells of Shinji, a young fisherman and Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. Shinji is entranced at the sight of Hatsue in the twilight on the beach and they fall in love. When the villagers' gossip threatens to divide them, Shinji must risk his life to prove his worth.
The Sound of Waves was a delightfully understated novel that was both a conventional love story and a kind of homage to the simple country life. The story was uplifting and not as bleak as some of Mishima's other works, so it's probably not a bad place to start if you are new to his writing and are hesitating over some of the darker novels. It was easy reading, yet still full of atmospheric descriptions and a wonderful sense of place. It gets five stars from me.