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Fault Lines: Shortlisted for the 2021 Costa First Novel Award

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Itami, who grew up in Tokyo but now lives in London, examines carefully the line between insider and outsider in Japanese culture. Mizuki has spent a stint in New York, and blames this period abroad for her difficulty in accepting the constraints of her current existence, especially the high expectations on mothers. I thought it was poignant how the calmness and dullness of the life she leads at home is contrasted with the vibrancy and cacophony of colours, sights and sounds she is met with when she and Kiyoshi are together. Fault Lines is a masterful study of the causes family estrangements, the reasons to heal, and the ways to make it happen. Once it finally got to the part about the earthquakes, I found myself pretty much skimming the pages, so that I could be finished with it.

But when she meets someone who makes her feel truly seen, who is the kind of person who actually sits and contemplates the answers to questions before just spouting off, as if he really cares and truly wants to know her and her to know him, she is conflicted.My life’s work, my greatest loves, orchestrators of total psychological trauma and everyday destruction. Her relationship with Kiyoshi deepens, and as their relationship wanders into different territory, Mizuki begins to question everything she thought always kept her grounded and the choices that have left her in this predicament. As an American, I also appreciated the insight into modern day Japanese life and culture, as if I was one of the expat clients of the main character - which was an ingenious ploy by the author. Overwrought, pretentious, melodramatic, kinda like wearing flashy jewelry, full makeup, a stiff hairdo and stiletto heels to a hayride.

Once in a while you try something new, sometimes it doesn't pay off but sometimes it does, i loved this beautifully written novel by Emily Itami, i cannot believe this is a debut novel, it wa She recognizes she has a beautiful apartment, with a hardworking husband, and two perfect children, yet she is unhappy. As happens in marriage sometimes, and exacerbated by Tatsuya’s high stress, time intensive position and her frustrations as a wife and mother, they’ve grown more and more distant.It is here that Merritt begins to experience an unexplored side of herself and begins a life-altering romance, though it is built on unstable ground. On impulse, the trio takes off in Laura's red Mustang convertible, barreling up the coast to the lush wilderness outside San Francisco -- earthquake country. When Siddons describes landscape, natural phenomena, or animals, she's at her best-- in fact, sometimes profound-- but her people are paper dolls, and the "dialogue" is straight out of Dr. Emily Itami has written an incredible debut novel that works so well because although we may not always condone the choices that Mitzuki makes, we can understand why she does. Mizuki wasn’t a bad person for pursuing this friendship with another man, but her husband also wasn’t a bad person for working hard all the time.

This is a beautiful character study and one that isn’t afraid to present a flawed person making some bad, but very realistic decisions.All of the inner yearnings and tribulations of Mizuki are laid bare, offering one of the fullest, most thorough depictions of a character I have ever read. Her name is Mizuki and she has two children, a businessman hubby with a good work ethic, and a beautiful home. Then the scene moves to the Redwoods where our main character is obviously going to find herself, and also earthquakes.

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