Monday 29 April 2024

Book Review: A Perfect Day to be Alone by Aoyama Nanae (Contemporary Literature)

Title: A Perfect Day to be Alone
Author: Aoyama Nanae
Publisher: MacLeHose Press
Publication Date: 9 May 2024
Pages: 160
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Contemporary Literature
Source: ARC via NetGalley

When her mother emigrates to China for work, twenty-year-old Chizu moves in with 71-year-old Ginko, an eccentric distant relative, taking a room in her ramshackle Tokyo home, with two its resident cats and the persistent rattle of passing trains.

Living their lives in imperfect symmetry, they establish an uneasy alliance, stress tested by Chizu's flashes of youthful spite. As the four seasons pass, Chizu navigates a series of tedious part-time jobs and unsatisfying relationships, before eventually finding her feet and salvaging a fierce independence from her solitude.

A Perfect Day to Be Alone is a moving, microscopic examination of loneliness and heartbreak. With flashes of deadpan humour and a keen eye for poignant detail, Aoyama chronicles the painful process of breaking free from the moorings of youth.


A Perfect Day to be Alone is a read that is interesting as a psychological study of the main character and her experiences moving to the big city, looking for something from life without really knowing what she seeks. However, it also follows one of the trends of contemporary Japanese literature in that not a lot happens. If you are looking for a book with a deep and winding plot, this is not for you, but I would recommend it to readers who enjoy more introspective works as it offers a thoughtful portrayal of the transition into adulthood. I am giving it 4 stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment