Friday, August 03, 2012

Japanese writer: Keigo Higashino

I stayed up all night to read the Japanese novel, Naoko by  Keigo Higashino.  It was quite fascinating; held my interest from beginning to end. I came across this writer because his other book, Devotion of Suspect X  was our book club pick last month.   This novel touched on the supernatural.  The protagonist's wife, Naoko, and daughter, Monami, were involved in a bus crash.  Heisuke thought he had lost his wife but found out that her spirit was occupying his daughter's body.  He then realized that in fact he had lost his only daughter.  Yes, a little confusing and a very creepy situation.  Interestingly, there is a name for  a situation like this  metempsychosis.  The whole story was about Naoko and Heisuke maneuvering through life; elementary school, puberty, junior high and high school; while keeping this huge secret.  There was a very unusual twist to the plot towards the end.  I have watched movies about people switching bodies but this concept of  occupying a dead person's body was different.  I understand there is actually a movie based on this book.

I did not like the reaction of Heisuke in the end. It was too similar to the reaction of one of the protagonist's at the end of Devotion to Suspect X.   I also didn't like that there was no resolution for Heisuke after so many years of living life with this secret.

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