As I’ve rekindled my passion for reading recently, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce a ‘Book of the Month’ section, where I introduce and go over some of my favourite novels and non-fiction works I have read. Each ‘Book of the Month’ will be posted on every second Wednesday of the month, so be sure to get reading!
This month, I dive into a tender, emotional and beautifully written novel titled Norwegian Wood. Written by legendary Japanese writer Haruki Murakami in 1987, the novel is a complicated one that binds love, death, loneliness and trauma into one stunningly written piece of work. The novel starts off with a 37-year old Toru Watanabe landing in Hamburg, Germany and hearing The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood,” prompting him to reflect deeply on his complicated and deep relationship with a girl name Naoko. What bonded them was Kizuki, Naoko’s boyfriend and Toru’s best friend. His unexpected suicide on his 17th birthday prompted both to fall into a spiral of darkness and loss, needing each others company and love more than ever before. Toru dealt with his darker thoughts by going out to bars and having meaningless sex, as well as befriending a fellow university student Midori, who’s extroverted and bold personality helped him to see the brighter and funner side of life. Torn between his deeply rooted love for Naoko (which wasn’t fully reciprocated) and Midori, for a large chunk of the novel he finds himself trying to make sense of both relationships. It’s a heartfelt and rather emotive book that studies loss and trauma in the purest of ways. The way Murakami is able to describe everything from the landscape of Tokyo and the countryside and forest around Kyoto is so vivid, while Toru’s loneliness is saddening yet poetic. Along with his picturesque descriptions and observations, he’s a relatable and quirky character, which really helps Norwegian Wood be an authentic and enjoyable read.
Do give this book a read, it’s a truly poetic and incredible tale about love, loss, trauma, growth and inner peace. Click the image below to learn more about the novel and the author.