Kaerou Time to Go Home Review

Thank you B. Jeanne Shibahara for sending this book to me! I am providing my honest review to you all on my blog in exchange!

GoodReads Blurb:

In Japan…everywhere…red strings tie all people we meet together. Some strings are weak. Some have tangles. Some strong.

Meryl—Vietnam War widow—misses her grown son, feels left out after her father’s recent marriage. A WWII Japanese flag falls into her hands. The gentle push of a love-struck professor starts her adventure—take the flag home. From the neon of Osaka, to the ancient capital Nara, to the forests of Akita, the trail follows a newspaper reporter, factory manager, ikebana teacher, a Matagi hunter and winds through Japanese culture, past and present. A story of shared humanity and love in the simplest things.

This book was hard to define in simple terms, I did really enjoy it, especially at around page 25 I think something just really really clicked for me. There were elements here that I typically enjoy in a book, the history of things, the going back and forward of thinking of the past and progressing in the present, these are always huuuuuge pluses for me.

This story is more than just about Meryl, and in fact, the quote at the top of the blurb is my favorite in the book and is said by my favorite character, Ms. Kawanishi. The landscapes that Shibahara describe are utterly beautiful and it makes you want to go hop on a plane and go explore Japan. There’s an ample cast of characters and they’re all a variety of personalities.

Shibahara not only does a great job describing gorgeous locations, she also has a rather poetic or lyrical style! It actually took me a little while to get into it but it’s something I enjoyed after adapting to it [Note, probably about 25 is when I got used to the rhythm of it.]

The book is about finding love and about letting go of those we love as well. Meryl is delivering a flag to a man’s family who never thought they would get him home again, but she’s bringing them a beautiful chance while also dealing with the fact that despite her love for her husband she couldn’t condone everything he did and it makes her connect with the man she’s bringing home and his family. An unknowing level where thoughts are shared between her and the family as they have to face the brutality of what war cost in a time of peace.

There were some small issues, I wasn’t sure I always appreciated some of the stereotypes of some of the characters, or always completely enjoyed Meryl but as I said my favorite character was Ms. Kawanishi anyway, and I really thought this book was just a very lush one in its details of Japan and elsewhere. I would definitely recommend to those who like Eat, Pray, LoveUnder the Tuscan Sun, or The Sandalwood Tree. Not to mention the covers both front and back are absolutely lovely as you can tell from the featured image, front on the left, back on the right.

I enjoyed this and I foresee myself reading it again in the next couple of years and I am already planning on sending it to my sister who I think will really enjoy it too. [But her own copy damn it cause she doesn’t understand what the word borrow means] This go around I didn’t want to put a rating, I want you all to read the review and decide for yourself if you’d like to give it a read and if you want to discuss it more with me feel free to reach out to me!

Charity Shop Finds!

Hey all

It’s Sunday, I’m picking my daughter up from her Brownies trip and yesterday we had an unexpected charity shop spree. We went to one but it was just choc-full of amazing books. So.

We did it. That was our adventurous thing to do while the daughter is away, buy books.

Also, I forgot to show these off last week:

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These are actually from last Sunday, we were dropping off a stack of books, came home with four.
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These are actually from last Sunday, we were dropping off a stack of books, came home with four.

The total from last Sunday was £4.49

Finally, the ones from today

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We were able to pick up a couple of more classics that matched some we already have. Grabbed some great nonfiction reads, and well, went overboard. But we hadn’t really planned on buying books today and the shop was all the way in Edinburgh so we wouldn’t be back to that part of the city anytime soon. We live in Fife and if we go into Edinburgh it’s usually for shows or the museum.

  • The Diary of Anne Frank £2.00
  • The French Revolution, Christopher Hibbert £2.00
  • The French Revolution £4.00
  • The Russian Revolution 1917-1932 £2.00
  • Naming Jack the Ripper £4.00
  • Bletchley Circle £2.00
  • The World According to Garp £2.00
  • The Way of the Flesh £2.00
  • Usher Hall £2.00
  • Lenin £2.00
  • The Happy Prince and Other Stories £1.50
  • Count Karlstein £1.50
  • Hocus Pocus (Kurt Vonnegut) £2.00
  • The Little World of Don Camillo £2.00
  • The Wife of Bath £2.00

A total of £33.00 for today

Come about October/November I’ll probably have donated at least a 1/3 of everything I’ve been buying lately.

Anyway, that’s it, not much of a post but I’m always excited to share our finds.