Title: The Love We Share Without Knowing
Author: Christopher Barzak
Genre: Fiction;Short Stories
"In this haunting, richly woven novel of modern life in Japan, the author explores the ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides. Here is a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate.
On a train filled with quietly sleeping passengers, a young man’s life is forever altered when he is miraculously seen by a blind man. In a quiet town an American teacher who has lost her Japanese lover to death begins to lose her own self. On a remote road amid fallow rice fields, four young friends carefully take their own lives—and in that moment they become almost as one. In a small village a disaffected American teenager stranded in a strange land discovers compassion after an encounter with an enigmatic red fox, and in Tokyo a girl named Love learns the deepest lessons about its true meaning from a coma patient lost in dreams of an affair gone wrong.
From the neon colors of Tokyo, with its game centers and karaoke bars, to the bamboo groves and hidden shrines of the countryside, these souls and others mingle, revealing a profound tale of connection—uncovering the love we share without knowing."
This novel has some heavy topics. At times, I wondered if I should even keep reading. Not because it was boring, or gruesome, or anything like that. It was just... heavy. It made my heart hurt at points. Yet, it made me contemplative, and I am so glad that I kept reading. I hope you all give this one a try. You won't be sorry.
Some notable quotes:
"She'll only understand the parts of me that she wants to see. Every other piece of me, she'll disappear."
"The terrible thing about love that it takes away your safety net, your balancing pole. Even the tightrope you walk upon will disappear beneath you, yet love expects you to keep walking anyway, arms outstretched, one foot after another, or nothing more than air."