First Sentence: He first came to the Iris one day just before the beginning of the summer season.
A delicate little novel this centering on Mari, a seventeen-year old girl who works at the front desk in the family run Hotel Iris. One night there is a disturbance in one of the rooms between a prostitute and a mysterious man. It is this man’s voice that initially draws Mari in to what will become a somewhat shocking relationship. This book is endlessly readable, full of clean prose, but at its heart is a very dark tale. It is this darkness that I found a little off-putting, but that is not to say this is a bad book. I just preferred the innocence of the other Ogawa book I read (The Housekeeper + The Professor). There is still much to enjoy here, and aside from the rather dubious love shared by Mari and the translator, I can see plenty to admire. It is at times a disturbing, and yet consistently charming read.
* * *