Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel is one of my favorites: the tale of Etsuko, a Japanese woman living in the English countryside, unraveling the suicide of her eldest daughter. Woven throughout is another tale, set in a suburb of Nagasaki several years after the end of World War II: Etsuko, then a pregnant new wife, befriends an unusual woman and her troubled daughter who rent one of the only traditional cottages not destroyed by the bomb or condemned in the aftermath. There is a literal wilderness here: the edge of the city where the rebuilding has stopped, where industrial waste pools and a small bridge across the dirty river leads to an abandoned wood.
3.7 rating based on 11,851 ratings (all editions)
Author(s): Publisher: Faber and Faber
In his highly acclaimed debut, A Pale View of Hills, Kazuo Ishiguro tells the story of Etsuko, a Japanese woman now living alone in England, dwelling on the recent suicide of her daughter. Retreating into the past, she finds herself reliving one particular hot summer in Nagasaki, when she and her friends struggled to rebuild their lives after the war. But then as she recalls her strange friendship with Sachiko - a wealthy woman reduced to vagrancy - the memories take on a disturbing cast.