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Fault Lines: Shortlisted for the 2021 Costa First Novel Award

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Mizuki alternates between reminiscing about her past marital joys and thanking her lucky stars each time she has a quiet night with no forced romance between her and husband, waiting for the moment when the minutiae of parenthood becomes second nature. It started off better than expected and in the first few chapters I so wanted to smack Pom I found it upsetting. Is her relationship with Kiyoshi the key to happiness, or just the seismic shift she needs to confront what her life has become before it's too late?

A novel/short story collection that addressed similar themes in a more dynamic way is So We Look to the Sky by Misumi Kubo, which I read earlier this year and greatly enjoyed. Set in Tokyo, the novel begins with housewife Mizuki debating jumping off the balcony of her highrise apartment where she lives with her husband and two children. Itami cleverly presented the differences between a long-term life partnership and a new friendship, and Mizuki’s narration was thoughtful and relatable as she discussed these two relationships. She recognizes she has a beautiful apartment, with a hardworking husband, and two perfect children, yet she is unhappy. 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.But in this wise and moving book, Karl Pillemer combines academic rigor and practical advice to show us how to move toward reconciliation. Used books have different signs of use and might not include supplemental materials such as CDs, Dvds, Access Codes, charts or any other extra material.

Fault Lines is another of Siddons' fine examples of a seamlessly crafted story, wherein palpably developed characters find themselves in a plausible predicament. Through the wisdom of people who have “been there,” Fault Lines shows how healing is possible through clear steps that people can use right away in their own families. Wilson did a decent job but the first third of the audiobook was difficult to understand for me because the narrator often mumbled or slurred her words when the character, Mizuki, was saying something sarcastic or droll - which was often!

Chronic, seemingly intractable estrangement blights many families in our stressed and fragmented culture. Raghuram Rajan was one of the few economists who warned of the global financial crisis before it hit. I really recommend checking out this book for a nuanced and fantastic insight into Japanese culture and one woman’s journey to understand herself and her role within her family. She just needs to be seen and understood by someone in her life, and I think it could’ve been pulled off without the romantic elements to it.

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