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Goodbye Tsugumi

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Banana Yoshimoto's novels of young life in Japan have made her an international sensation. Goodbye Tsugumi is an offbeat story of a deep and complicated friendship between two female cousins that ranks among her best work. Maria is the only daughter of an unmarried woman. She has grown up at the seaside alongside her cousin Tsugumi, a lifelong invalid, charismatic, spoiled, and occasionally cruel. Now Maria's father is finally able to bring Maria and her mother to Tokyo, ushering Maria into a world of university, impending adulthood, and a "normal" family. When Tsugumi invites Maria to spend a last summer by the sea, a restful idyll becomes a time of dramatic growth as Tsugumi finds love and Maria learns the true meaning of home and family. She also has to confront both Tsugumi's inner strength and the real possibility of losing her. Goodbye Tsugumi is a beguiling, resonant novel from one of the world's finest young writers.

186 pages, Paperback

First published March 20, 1989

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About the author

Banana Yoshimoto

203 books6,549 followers
Banana Yoshimoto (よしもと ばなな or 吉本 ばなな) is the pen name of Mahoko Yoshimoto (吉本 真秀子), a Japanese contemporary writer. She writes her name in hiragana. (See also 吉本芭娜娜 (Chinese).)

Along with having a famous father, poet Takaaki Yoshimoto, Banana's sister, Haruno Yoiko, is a well-known cartoonist in Japan. Growing up in a liberal family, she learned the value of independence from a young age.

She graduated from Nihon University's Art College, majoring in Literature. During that time, she took the pseudonym "Banana" after her love of banana flowers, a name she recognizes as both "cute" and "purposefully androgynous."

Despite her success, Yoshimoto remains a down-to-earth and obscure figure. Whenever she appears in public she eschews make-up and dresses simply. She keeps her personal life guarded, and reveals little about her certified Rolfing practitioner, Hiroyoshi Tahata and son (born in 2003). Instead, she talks about her writing. Each day she takes half an hour to write at her computer, and she says, "I tend to feel guilty because I write these stories almost for fun."

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,065 reviews
Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,080 reviews6,895 followers
May 21, 2019
Question: if a story is about three young women of college age, is it always a YA novel? This Japanese author is considered a YA author.

This is a bit of a strange story. The main character is an only child but she also grew up with her aunt and uncle and two female cousins who are sisters, one a year older, one a year younger. The two families run a small seaside resort and function as a single family. While we follow the main character as she tells the story, Tsugumi of the title is in a sense the real main character. Tsugumi has some kind of disabling disease, and it was thought she might die while young.


The young woman who might die is beautiful and very intelligent but, because of her illness, she is spoiled rotten and one of the nastiest people you will want to meet. She enjoys being mean to people. Everyone in the family, adults and children, let her do and say whatever she wants. She constantly calls the other girls ‘dimwits’ ‘morons,’ and ‘assholes.’ She plays up her illness saying “You jerks sure are going to feel like crap if I die tonight!” And, of course, all of us older people remember how we used to say to our mothers things like “Keep your mouth shut unless you’ve got something worth saying.” She has tantrums and throws food. The family seems not only to indulge her, but to admire her for this behavior.

The girl with the illness also experiences a “white rage” if someone crosses her. And when her boyfriend gets involved with some thugs she takes revenge on them in away that is bizarre, almost Stephen King-ish.

It’s also a book about nostalgia. They all love their lives and the companionship at the hotel. Now the main character is going off to college in Tokyo and the aunt and uncle are selling the resort. They are all overcome with nostalgia as the last third of the book focuses on the last summer they will be together, while the girl’s illness becomes more serious.


A good story; fast-paced, less than 200 pages. I rate it a 3.5, rounded up to 4. I liked a bit better the author’s novel Kitchen, about a young woman trying to overcome grief through gourmet cooking. Here it is you are interested: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Photo of a Japanese resort from pinterest
The author from bongbongbooks.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Samadrita.
295 reviews4,522 followers
May 17, 2016
The present encapsulates a series of moments which rarely coalesce to form a coherent motif or a recognizable image we can easily identify with only grief or euphoria or even dejection. Melancholia and felicity, hope and disappointment are often indissolubly mixed in this concoction. One cannot have one without the other. But on rare occasions clarity dawns on a fortunate few or those who are sentimental enough to look back at a time which has already merged with the void leaving only a pale shadow of its existence hovering uncertainly in its place. And one can, perhaps to one's utter astonishment, make out the remnants of a past in which one was really, truly content even though the edges of this transitory happiness were rimmed by an aching awareness of its imperfections.
The sense that the three of us were becoming friends seemed to saturate the air between us like a kind of instinct, a pleasurable premonition.

Even though I find myself grappling with a deep reluctance to disassemble Banana Yoshimoto's works to the sum of their parts knowing all too well that even the effort seems like an insult to her talent, I gain a kind of quiet confidence from the understated brilliance of her words to string together words of my own and attempt to trace the contours of that elusive, ephemeral happiness that she limns with consummate artistry. The small, tender moments that can presumptuously be considered inconsequential when a life is subjected to a careful scrutiny at its inevitable end but aren't. Moments which blend resentment and gratitude, restlessness and satisfaction, love and anger in equal measure. Moments which are akin to the blurred landscape on the other side of the frosted glass window on a misty, rain-drenched morning. One can only be dazzled by their burnish once the obfuscating, gauzy veil of time has been lifted.

For the sake of token criticism, one can call Tsugumi, the perennially ailing, delicate waif of a girl with the vicious spirit of a demon, a meaner version of the manic pixie dream girl prototype. But it's not Tsugumi - indisputably the emotional center of this narrative - who stands out in my eyes. It is rather the memory of a listless summer spent in a seaside town of one's childhood in which Tsugumi's casual cruelty, her laughter, her tears and fury burn in the palette of the narrator's consciousness with the inexorable intensity of the sun, eclipsing all the memories of other sharper happinesses. It is the bittersweet longing for a lost home that engulfs Maria (the narrator) every time she steps off a bus amidst the hustle and bustle of upscale Tokyo, an ache which only the gentle sound of Tsugumi sliding the paper door open to her room in Yamamoto Inn can ameliorate. And it is rather the story of the girl on the cusp of graduating to a newer phase of life, falteringly embracing the idea of a new home, and confronting the growing dread of losing something she had not even recognized she held dear to herself that I wish to cherish for a long time.
Because the ocean had always been there, in the good times as well as the bad times of my life, when it was sweltering out and the beach was filled with people, and in the dead of winter when the sky was heavy with stars, and when we were heading to the local shrine on New Year's Day...all I had to do was turn my head and it would be there, the same as always.

Fragile bonds which only accumulate substance and strength to grow into pulsating hearts that throb to the uneven rhythms of existence. Vague silhouettes flickering somewhere in the horizon coming into sharper focus with the shifting of light and the shortening of distance, and metamorphosing into the very people we are accustomed to admire and despise by turns. Yoshimoto is capable of disinterring profound meaning lodged in the depths of the most mundane of occurrences and shucking off the hard shell of superficial reality to reveal its soft, pliant core.
A surge of emotion cuts into my chest, overwhelmingly fierce. As if these people I love and this town are going to vanish from the very face of the earth, a feeling so overwhelmingly bright I can't stand to look at it straight.

Her craft lies in exalting the ordinary and the everyday truths of life's many baffling dichotomies to transcendental wisdom and in converting ambiguous characters to people of flesh and blood who cannot help surrendering before the promise of love which accosts them in their most vulnerable moments. In the end, she knows it is not about bidding farewell to a time in memory or a place or a way of life but having the courage to accept the truth of its centrality in one's life, knowing full well that forever is a beautiful lie and goodbye waits just around the corner.
Profile Image for Jr Bacdayan.
211 reviews1,657 followers
August 15, 2016
This novel, more than anything, wrenched my heart. I could feel its every beat as I glided through Banana Yoshimoto’s simple yet soothing prose. The breeze of a warm summer sea penetrated through the pages and I felt its warmth saunter over me like a comforting blanket. Even the cold of my room was eviscerated by the earnest glow of a young girl’s relentless spirit. This beautiful tale of two cousins is one of the few books that has truly resonated with my personal outlook. I was thoroughly taken by Maria trying to come to terms with the changes in her life, and Tsugumi ceaselessly going forward without a care in the world. It was a rare indulgence both to the senses and the mind.

“The world of ours is piled high with farewells and goodbyes of so many different kinds, like the evening sky renewing itself again and again from one single instant to the next – and I didn’t want to forget a single one.”

Goodbye Tsugumi, as the name suggests, is a novel whose waves are anchored on the ends and partings we have to face in life. Maria recently moved out of her hometown, her birthplace to be with her Father and to attend the University. From her coastal town, she suddenly finds herself under the big and overwhelming city lights of Tokyo. She misses the ocean, and warmth of her friends, her cousins. But over time the quiet town of her beginnings slowly seeps out of her thoughts as she starts to appreciate the brightness of her new surroundings, until she learns that the past she has now taken for granted might never be revisited again. And so she comes home, maybe for the last time.

The pages of this book are littered with nostalgia so overpowering it forces one to revisit ones own past. Ceaselessly, the thoughts of Maria drift to the sea, and every time she understands to appreciate the things around her. She immortalizes image after image of her last moments in this sacred place that the essence of it is reflected by my realization that I have stopped breathing for a few seconds.

The commonplace, the ordinary, the pedestrian, these are the things that revisit Maria. In contrast the special, ruffian, sickly Tsugumi hovers over her like a giant shadow pulling her back to face the everyday mirror she has never looked at before. Tsugumi, someone who has never been out of their town, yet has the life force of more than the entire towns people combined, dazzles her, blinds her and somehow helps her see what it was she came back for. Tsugumi serves as the beach, a springboard to the incessant waves of Maria’s thoughts and apprehensions, a striking yet fragile pillar of assurance that shrouds her snugly, homely, bringing her back. Together they make for such a breathtaking sight.

“And every time this happened I would realize that this feeling wasn’t quite suffering, no, but a kind of distress that was at the same time wonderfully exciting. Even as I rested there this sea of emotions continued to ebb and flow through my chest.”

‘Everything will be all right.’ This is the gentle message of Tsugumi to Maria. Despite her horrid attitude, her profanities, her sauciness, her immaturity, she grasps the things she can and holds on tight. Her unfiltered way of living and her relentless spirit defies the pathetic circumstances she has. She refuses pity; she refuses tears, because she knows things are as they are. And whatever comes along, whatever changes, life goes on. “Babe, I can die in the mountains as much as I can die beside the sea.”

Nothing is perfect, nothing lasts forever, and rather than mope perhaps it is better to appreciate the moments that come our way. The friendships that will someday end, the love that will one day cease, the home that will later find itself elsewhere, our reflections which years from now we will not recognize. Who says that the future, real as it is, should ruin the things that we, at the moment, hold dear.

Tsugumi’s last assurance to Maria at the end of the novel is as clear as the sea in summer. However insolent and depressing Tsugumi might sound, her ardor and spirit leaps out and makes itself felt. And it feels unmistakably alive.

Whether it may be saying goodbye, moving somewhere unfamiliar, losing something precious, falling in or out of love, having nothing left inside you, or whatever it is that troubles us. Maybe Tsugumi is right. Maybe that’s just how things are, how life is. We remember but we move forward. Maybe, despite appearances, everything will be all right.

Keep well.
Profile Image for Lynne King.
489 reviews652 followers
July 10, 2015

From the time she was born, Tsugumi was ridiculously frail, and she had a whole slew of physical ailments and defects. Her doctors announced that she would die young and her family began preparing for the worst. Of course everyone around her spoiled her like you wouldn’t believe.

I loved "Kitchen" by this author but I actually prefer this book. What it is, I've really tried to fathom it out, basically is that it comes down to the simplicity in the style of writing. Having said that, I've read different translations with the two books and the style is definitely different. This book is more American in its style. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that but one needs to localize here and, of course, the book is targeted for different markets.

This book is about Maria, but also a love story about Tsugumi, who sounds a dreadful individual. I was ready to dispose of the book after two pages and throw it into the Saison river but no, I decided to persevere with it as I loved "Kitchen" and would you believe it but I was soon well and truly enchanted with the story.

The fact that Tsugumi was an invalid has, I believe, been responsible for her behaviour. Perhaps that was why she was such an “enfant terrible”, as she spent so much time in bed that she had too much time to reflect. She was somewhat insular. I was reminded of Proust for some obscure reason. If one spends so much time on one’s own, one really reflects and the mind and emotions can run wild, especially with the imagination and yet, I feel, one can be so enriched by this.

The story is told by her cousin Maria, who appears to be somewhat in awe of Tsugumi and is spending her final summer with her by the sea at Tsugumi’s parents’ inn, before she moves to be with her family in Tokyo and then go to university there.

Initially Maria was not too enamoured with Tsugumi but slowly this recedes and love soon replaces it. There is the most remarkable letter written at the end of the book that nearly brought me to tears I must confess. It was heart-breaking.

But Tsugumi finds love with Kyoichi and it is like a different individual has been born, summoned here by the rebirth of the phoenix. All of her loyalty in her love rises to the fore and even includes Kyoichi’s dog, Gongoro, evidently a rather ghastly Pomeranian. But love works strange miracles in our life on this planet. Also when love is involved, other emotions make an unexpected appearance and then some rather unusual events occur. Revenge then enters into the equation and then the most remarkable things happen. I was quite breathless when I saw what Tsugumi was capable of. I could have never have done what she did. I would not have had the strength. All I can add is that there is a large hole involved…

The novella is multi-faceted. The sea is the foundation and essence of the book as is light. The two both enter into the soul somehow.

Surprisingly enough by the end of the book I was thoroughly enchanted with Tsugumi. To apologise didn't exist in her vocabulary and when she finally did apologise, the world exploded with amazement. How she changed with love!

I had translation work to do but abandoned that and sat myself down at the table on the terrace with my book, gazed at my beloved Pyrenees, and sipped a glass of iced water. It is rather hot here at the moment at 29°C. I read the book in one sitting and was so impressed with it that I then opened a bottle of Champagne and had a glass. I was celebrating, held it up and imagined that I was sitting on a moonbeam gazing down on Tsugumi and her world.

I’m not going to wax lyrical here but I love the book and that should suffice. And yes, I am indeed looking forward to reading another book by this remarkable Japanese author.
June 19, 2021

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DNF @ p.77

I'm doing this experiment where I'm rereading the books from my adolescence as part of this project. When I was in high school, I went through this phase where I was OBSESSED with Banana Yoshimoto. Lucky me, I found my trove of old books in the garage while cleaning it a few weeks ago, so I'm giving a lot of my old faves a reread to see which are worth keeping and which should be passed on to someone else.

One of the reasons I love Banana Yoshimoto's books is that they have a dreamy, introspective wistfulness to them. Sometimes this makes them really slow but when you really like the characters, it's a bit like reading one of your old school diaries. It's all very internally focused and everything kind of shimmers softly because you haven't become jaded yet. All of her books are like that, even with adult characters.

Because they are so introspective, though, they aren't really all that fun if you don't like the characters because they're almost entirely character-driven and don't really have a lot of action. That was the case with me for GOODBYE, TSUGUMI. Maria is bland and Tsugumi is a manipulative sociopath. Neither of them are particularly likable and their friendship really didn't make sense to me. I seem to remember being ambivalent about this one as a teen but rating it higher because she was my ultimate favorite author. I think in my teens, I gave this a three. Now it's getting a two.

1.5 to 2 stars
May 26, 2022
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3 ½ stars

“This story you’re reading contains my memories of the final visit I made to the seaside town where I passed my childhood—of my last summer at home.”

Goodbye Tsugumi is the quintessence of Yoshimoto. Written in her quietly poetic prose Goodbye Tsugumi is a novel that is light on the plot. Yoshimoto introduces us to her characters without preamble, offering little in terms of backstory, yet she's quick to establish the dynamic between Maria and her capricious best friend Tsugumi. Maria's feelings are rendered in a language that is both simple and lyrical, as Yoshimoto often juxtaposes Maria's inner thoughts with ordinary details of her environment. Yoshimoto is particularly attuned to nature, noting the smell of the sea, raindrops, the sand. She truly conjures up Maria's “little fishing town”, almost giving it an ethereal quality.
The friendship between Maria and Tsugumi is the focus of this short novel. In spite of their contrasting personalities, the bond between the two runs deep. Tsugumi's prickliness stems partly from her frustration towards the mysterious malady she suffers from. Maria, who's going to a university in Tokyo, decides to spend her summer with Tsugumi's in her beloved village. Yoshimoto captures with clarity Maria's impressions and feelings, vividly rendering this particular phase of her life.
An atmosphere of nostalgia envelops Maria and Tsugumi's story, making certain scenes particularly bittersweet.
However much I liked Yoshimoto's prose, I can't say that I particularly cared for Tsugumi. Her capricious nature was at times excused by her condition, which is fair enough but doesn't really give her the right to be cruel or rude.
Still, this makes for a breezy read, and fans of Yoshimoto will most likely enjoy this.

edit post re-read: this second time around i actually kind of liked tsugumi (even if she was a bit of a bitch). go figure.
Profile Image for Repellent Boy.
483 reviews499 followers
July 11, 2020
En esta pequeña historia, narrada por Maria, nos adentraremos en un pequeño pueblo costero. Allí, una familia vive y trabaja en un hostal. Entre otros personajes, destacan la propia Maria, prima de las hermanas Yoko y Tsugumi, y es esta última. sin ser la narradora, la auténtica protagonista de la novela.

El personaje de Tsugumi está tan bien creado y con tanto mimo, que es imposible no entenderla y apreciarla. Tsugumi, enferma desde niña, desarrolla una personalidad en apariencia egoísta y sin reparos, hasta el punto de decir y hacer siempre lo que quiere y siente sin límites. Pero durante las páginas, esta apariencia fría y dura, esconde un personaje luchador, que teme la muerte, y siente que algún momento de vulnerabilidad le haría perder esa fuerza ante la vida. Un personaje espectacular.

Es un relato tremendamente evocador y nostálgico, que hace recordar a esos días de verano pasados, a los que a todos nos gustaría regresar. Las descripciones del mar, la playa o del pequeño pueblo, me ayudaban a entrar completamente en la ambientación de la historia. Este tipo de libros, siempre me dejan ese poso agradable que activa recuerdos, y cuando eso pasa es algo para valorar. Y con Banana siempre es así. Esta señora tiene un don para mezclar la felicidad con la tristeza y que te deje ese poso bonito.

Cada nueva lectura que hago de Banana Yoshimoto reafirma que es una de las autoras más personales que he leído. Este ya es el sexto libro (y la octava historia) que leo de ella y siempre logra cautivarme. Se ha convertido poco a poco en una de esas escritoras indispensables en mi vida (y en mis estanterías), de la que quiero leer absolutamente todo.
Profile Image for Ed Martin.
9 reviews1 follower
June 6, 2007
I really wasn't impressed by this book. The ideas and themes covered sounded very interesting, and while Yoshimoto's descriptions of scenery are well-written, the characters seemed to lack depth, and didn't really encourage a feeling of sympathy. I've given the benefit of the doubt as the process of translation may subtract from the original. While the descriptions of scenery were well written, and Yoshimoto made some interesting and thought-provoking points, the characters spoilt the book for me. It felt as if words were being forced into characters mouths unnaturally, with mundane conversation being interrupted by metaphysics and soul-baring in a way that really jarred. Furthermore, while the narrator was easy to get to know and relate to, the other characters lacked depth and rationale to their actions a lot of the time. I might recommend this book to young teenagers but as adult reading it really didn't do it for me. If another translation came out I'd re-read it though.
Profile Image for Peiman.
255 reviews43 followers
June 16, 2022
خداحافظ تسوگومی رو دوست داشتم. کتابی که اصلا سیر داستانی پر کششی نداره و حتی میشه گفت داستان خاصی هم نداره. کتاب تشکیل شده از چند فصل که هر کدوم در مورد یه اتفاق صحبت میکنه. داستان از زبان ماریا نقل میشه و بیشتر در مورد خودش و دو دختر خاله ش یوکو و تسوگومی هست. درسته سیر داستانی نداره ولی مدل تعریف کردن و توصیفات برای من در عین سادگی خیلی جذاب بودن. اتفاقاتی که میتونیم درکشون کنیم و احساسات ادم رو یه جاهایی قلقلک میده. یک فیلم هم از روی این رمان ساخته شده
Profile Image for Vonia.
611 reviews97 followers
July 12, 2017
Yoshimoto's elegiac writing would probably automatically receive the rating for average, regardless of anything else. her prose is so beautiful, transporting readers with its sheer elegance.

The tone of this book matches the location, the seaside village where the narrator, Maria Shirakawa, is spending one last summer. At the center of the novel is her friendship with one quite unlovable character, Tsugumi. Tsugumi is her cousin, whom treats everyone around her poorly; predictably those closest to her worst of all. She is dying; has been for many years. Weak most of the time, she cannot travel, but has to be in bed most of the time. Much happens during this summer, most notably Tsugumi falling in love. Tsugumi's parents own a hotel, whom's newest rivals' (although they are closing it anyways, so it is irrelevant) son, Kyōichi. Maria herself learns more about life, her family, the meaning of home, who she is as a young person in the world. A threesome that summer, they truly bond, learning together....

Tsugumi is oh so complicated of an an enigma of a perplexing character. Yoshimoto has actually achieved something great in her, actually. So layered, many readers will quite understandable dismiss her as an ungrateful bitch that deserves no sympathy. To that, I say Yoshimoto's characters as well as novels as a whole are often to be absorbed, not exactly read. They lack plots sometimes. It is a sensory experience. What you receive from reading her novels are far from what you typically receive from American authors, even other Asian authors. She gave an impression to others because of her defense mechanisms. So many of them, she herself was lost in them. But, like Maria & Kyōichi, some readers will be able to see the beauty Tsugumi has hidden inside. Although this is no excuse for how she treats people, it is an explanation.

Yoshimoto explores some very adult themes with grace. But the presiding magic of this novel is the prose. A "few" examples....

"All summer long, Tsugumi was just as lovely as she could be. Something inside her kept creating an endless number of these moments -- scenes when the whole world would have caught its breath at the sight of her, and stood staring, utterly enchanted."

“On nights like this when the air is so clear,you end up saying things you ordinarily wouldn’t. Without even noticing what you’re doing, you open up your heart and just start talking to the person next to you—you talk as if you have no audience but the glittering stars, far overhead.”

“Each one of us continues to carry the heart of each self we've ever been, at every stage along the way, and a chaos of everything good and rotten. And we have to carry this weight all alone, through each day that we live. We try to be as nice as we can to the people we love, but we alone support the weight of ourselves.”

“People who are going to get along really well know it almost as soon as they meet. You spend a little while talking and everyone starts to feel this conviction, you're all equally sure that you're at the beginning of something good. That's how it is when you meet people you're going to be with for a long time.”

“Life is a performance, I thought... the word "illusion" would have meant more or less the same thing, but to me "performance" seemed closed to the truth. Standing there in the midst of the crowd that evening, I felt this realization swirl dizzily through my body in a dazzling splendor of light, if only for an instant. Each one of us continues to carry the heart of each self we've ever been, at every stage along the way, and a chaos of everything good and rotten. And we have to carry this weight all alone, through each day that we live. We try to be as nice as we can to the people we love, but we alone support the weight of ourselves.”

“For ten years I had been protected, wrapped up in something like a blanket that had been stitched together from all kinds of different things. But people never notice that warmth until after they've emerged. You don't even notice that you've been inside until it's too late for you ever to go back-- that's how perfect the temperature of that blanket is.”

“That night, having wriggled down into my futon all alone, I found myself in the grips of a wrenching sadness. I was only a child, but I knew the feeling that came when you parted with something, and I felt that pain. I lay gazing up at the ceiling , feeling the sleek stiffness of the well-starched sheets against my skin. My distress was a seed that would grow into an understanding of what it meant to say goodbye. In contrast to the heavy ache I would come to know later on in life, this was tiny and fresh – a green bud of pain with a bright halo of light rimming its edges.”

“I got up and sprinted into the ocean, chasing my father. I'm in love with the moment when the water switches from being so cold you want to leap up into the air to something that feels just right against your skin.”
“Love is the kind of thing that’s already happening by the time you notice it, that’s how it works, and no matter how old you get, that doesn’t change. Except that you can break it up into two entirely distinct types— love where there’s an end in sight and love where there isn’t. People in love understand that better than anyone. When there’s no end in sight, it means you’re headed for something huge.”
Profile Image for Matthew Ted.
689 reviews567 followers
February 9, 2023
22nd book of 2023.

3.5. When I think hard about why I read and why I devote almost all my spare time to reading, the best answer I can come up with, above all else, is because of those moments where you read an emotion you've felt before but have never seen communicated. I think that's why the modernists, Joyce, Proust, Woolf, etc., stand so supreme for me, is because through their prose you read so many emotions and thoughts. So what struck me about Yoshimoto's book here, considering its short size and fairly off-kilter plot, is her exploration of emotion. For example: there's a scene where the narrator returns to her seaside town home from living in the city and reflects how lonely it is there when it rains; she wonders if the sea absorbs the sound of the rain falling, giving it a hushed and empty feeling. I've lived most of my life in a seaside town and can't imagine living away from the sea, as our narrator once thought too, and agree that this is a feeling I've had, that they feel far lonelier than places inland. (I also think the distance that just stretches out from the coastline creates a profound sort of loneliness.) Another is where Yoshimoto explores how in the evenings, when the air is clear and sharp, humans tell each other things they wouldn't normally say. I have memories of, not evenings, but early mornings as a boy in scouts, sailing or kayaking with other boys on the Thames. Something about those mornings (our sleepiness is partly to thank), made us reflective and stripped us of all boisterousness, even the most unruly boys. In my memory it is the air, how crisp it was on those mornings, that had this pacifying affect on us.

But, like most Japanese novels I've read, the sparseness of the prose and emotion (even when leaning into the sorts of emotions above) keeps it at a fairly middling rating. Certain passages had me half-swooning, but a lot of the novel plods along at a monotonous rhythm. The plot was interesting enough, centred around two cousins, the narrator, Maria, and Tsugumi, but it took an odd turn near the end and I couldn't care enough by the final page. This is my first Yoshimoto, as I can never seem to get my hands on Kitchen but this was a solid place to start and has me excited for her other, more popular, books.
Profile Image for 7jane.
676 reviews249 followers
April 26, 2020
Maria Shirakawa is spending her last summer before Tokyo university at the seaside spa she has spent the most of her life in, with her cousin’s family, waiting for her father to finish his divorce from his first wife. This time is spent mostly with her two cousins, Yoko and Tsugumi, of which the latter stands out for her beauty, but also because of her abrasive, spoiled nature and fragile health. During the summer, love is found and the appreciation of the seaside and its town grows more intense for Maria as time passes… and Tsugumi’s health state varies.

Yes, some part of how you will like this book may depend on how much you can tolerate Tsugumi’s harshness, sometimes. That said, the other things like the events of the book, and the description of the nature and other details (including of the spa) cushion it well. It’s not only the summer that will gradually pass – there’s also the change of the … this is a book of farewells and goodbyes, making the details, the enjoyments and the less happy times more intense.

Maria mentions that she has already . There is melancholy, but also that of not clinging too much to what will pass by and vanish, eventually. Knowing this brings on the knowledge of details becoming material for nostalgia, later.

(I did notice from the way phones are used in this book, that the book is set in the world where cellphones were not common, yet – the book came out in Japan in 1989. How the events of the book would go now when calling other people can happen more easily?)

I think the ending was pretty much perfect, what Tsugumi says in I think that even after the summer, Maria will stay in touch with Tsugumi and others, and will look upon this summer as one of the best times of her, and their, life.
Profile Image for Bach Tran Quang.
201 reviews325 followers
April 30, 2015
Đây là một câu chuyện thật đẹp. Đẹp những buồn.

Vẫn là về mùa hè, một mùa hè sau cuối bỏ lại, tại một chốn xa xăm ven biển nhìn về phía núi xa, mọi thứ đều vây quanh Tugumi.

Cuốn sách này độc đáo khác thường của Banana Yoshimoto, nó lấp lánh và đẹp tuyệt đối. Kiểu như khi đọc, bạn sẽ rung lên vì cảm xúc tràn về, cho dù bạn đã trải qua hay chưa bao giờ bước qua một mùa hè như thế trong đời, bạn cũng đều rung cảm trước nó. Lối viết thanh thoát đầy nhạc tính, không còn u tối như những cuốn trước đây. Vĩnh Biệt Tugumi là một bản nhạc ballad êm dịu của tác giả dành tặng cho tuổi trẻ.

Tôi nghĩ mình đọc nó vào đúng dịp, và cũng đúng thời điểm. Tôi luôn luôn mơ về một vùng biển vắng người, xung quanh yên tĩnh, đứng trước biển và hít thở cái mùi mặn mòi mà gió ngoài khơi đẩy vào bờ, hoặc nằm ườn mình trên một băng ghế dưới những bóng nắng lấp lánh như hoa và đọc sách. Vậy là mùa hè tuyệt vời nhất đối với tôi.

Tôi không biết Tugumi còn sống hay không, tôi không trả lời được, tác giả cũng nói ở phía cuối bức thư ngỏ, nhưng tôi tin rằng cô sống mãi, với những cá tính riêng biệt của cô, với những khát khao cho một cuộc sống đẹp đẽ hơn sau mùa hè cuối cùng ấy.

Trong truyện cũng có một chiếc hố. Nhân vật cũng đứng dưới hố ngắm sao trên trời. Giống như cái giếng của Murakami.

À, mà khi được hỏi rằng tác phẩm đương đại nào của Nhật mà Murakami đọc cảm thấy thích thú nhất.

Ông nói chính là Vĩnh biệt Tugumi.

Chính là cuốn sách này, tôi được "giới thiệu" khi đang đọc lại Biên Niên Ký Chim Vặn Dây Cót.

Và mùa hè còn dài lắm.
Profile Image for shanghao.
261 reviews96 followers
June 18, 2017
I usually like Yoshimoto Banana's stories, but Tsugumi and Maria didn't offer any interesting angles or stories for me. The former was an egocentric special snowflake brat and the latter's a female Jared Kushner.

The evocation of an idyllic seaside town was cool but even that couldn't save the novel from Tsugumi. #byefelicia #byetsugumi
Profile Image for Adrienne.
271 reviews16 followers
July 28, 2009
I can only hope for Yoshimotos's sake that A LOT was lost in the translation of this book. I'm just glad it was a short, quick read because I really, really hated it.

Where to start? First of all, I dislike Yoshimoto's general writing style. Word choice is poor (although I realize that could be due to the translation) and the dialogue is sooooo lame. It's like a middle school student wrote it.

Also, what is up with this: "I can't explain this very well. But just then, as the lucid rush of the rain went on closing over the town, little by little, I felt utterly convinced that something about the two of them was right." There are far too many lines like this. She can't explain? That doesn't work for me when I am reading a BOOK. There isn't really a whole lot else to use but words--no music, no pictures, no movie. Writing a story and then saying you can't explain it doesn't do anything for me. It just feels like forced drama. And if this is an attempt at foreshadowing, it really failed for me. It's too transparent. It leaves no room for me as a reader to make connections or wonder about what might happen. There is no tension at all.

I got really tired of phrases like, "It just seemed right" and "I had a sudden instant of understanding". Maria mentions a lot of these, but they are meaningless without any contextual details to support them. And really, such language just seems like a cop out, a way to avoid better storytelling. It was also irritating that Maria has convenient "hunches" whenever things are out of the ordinary. No fun.

More annoying lines--She doesn't want this night to end, she doesn't want that night to end; the ocean is so beautiful she could just die, the sky is so gorgeous, blah, blah, blah. You know, when you use phrases like that every three or four pages, they lose what little power they had to begin with. Perhaps the larger issue is that they create an image of an I'm-so-happy-I-can't-contain-myself life when in reality, the experiences she is describing are bland at best (except for one psychotic incident at the end, for which Tsugumi is never held accountable).

Finally, and most importantly, I DON'T like Tsugumi. Who could? She is pure evil. Maria says people can't help but like her and be enchanted by her but I don't get that AT ALL. The words she uses to describe Tsugumi--"sacred", "adorable", "enchanting"--they're just not believable. There is a serious disconnect between the Tsugumi Maria talks about and the Tsugumi Yoshimoto is showing us.

So basically, goodbye Tsu-freakin-gumi!
Profile Image for Fran Sobrido Azpillaga.
67 reviews18 followers
November 13, 2017
Es la segunda novela que leo de Banana Yoshimoto y, aunque ésta también me ha gustado, no he terminado de conectar con ella tanto como con "Kitchen".
En este caso la autora trata de plasmar en la obra el transcurso de la vida de un chica enferma en un pequeño pueblo costero de Japón. Chica de mal carácter que no para de poner en apuros a sus familiares debido a sus travesuras, las cuales no dejan de ser una de las pocas formas que este personaje tiene de hacerse notar o, más bien, de intentar sentirse igual a los demás.
La escritora también trata un tema en segundo plano que es el de la desestructuración familiar por tanto que la protagonista y su madre viven al comienzo de la historia en el pueblo junto con Tsugumi y los suyos, mientras que el padre reside en Tokyo a la espera de divorciarse de su antigua mujer para terminar de hacer vida normal con María y su madre. No obstante, la pareja no esconderá su relación a ojos de los demás antes de que se produzca este hecho, lo cual no es nada común en un pequeño pueblo tan atado a sus tradiciones y costumbres.
Como tercer punto señalaría la importancia que le da la autora al amor como forma de cambiar y revitalizar a Tsugumi a pesar de su larga enfermedad, mostrando ésta una actitud totalmente diferente en presencia del chico que le gusta.
La forma de escritura y la traducción son correctas, y es un libro que no tiene ninguna dificultad para ser leído. Lo recomiendo.

NOTA: 6.5/10
Profile Image for Mads Motema.
63 reviews
March 31, 2021
So, this turned into one of the best books i’ve ever read. It is so... beautiful. And it just has a pearly, crisp feeling to it, it’s like some twinkling lights. I don’t really know how to properly express what i feel about this book, because i just loved it so much. I put little post it notes into my books for passages that got me extra much. there is like 12 of them and thats just the sentences or passages where i just had to pause and think „holy shit“.
This book also felt like some things, i’ve said that in my progress updates: feels like the music by ólafur arnalds, the track „last train home - still far“ from the anohana soundtrack. Ive also felt like it feels like the movie hotarubi no mori e and exactly like the motorcycle scene from the 2014 anime zankyou no terror. if you’ve seen that show you know what i mean, it’s one of my favourite scenes from anything of all times.
i actually expected tsugumi to die, but i was pleasantly surprised she didn’t. also, i did not expect to grow to like her so much. at first i thought „wow she sure is an entitled pain in the ass“ but over the course of the book i really really grew fond of her. i just grew fond of all of them. and of the image of this town painted in this book.
to conclude: holy shit man, this was a fucking amazing book.
Profile Image for T O À N P H A N.
417 reviews563 followers
March 7, 2020
Thấy chưa, tui đã rất tin tưởng vào mấy cuốn sách ngâm giấm mà, đồ cũ nó có giá của đồ cũ, hay thật sự 🤣

Vĩnh biệt Tugumi là một câu chuyện vui. Từ "vĩnh biệt" ai nghe cũng buồn, còn với Tugumi thì khác. Thanh xuân thường đi đôi với mùa hè, mà mùa hè thường trôi qua rất lẹ, nên hay hằn lại những mảnh vỡ buồn tẻ. Nhưng mùa hè gắn với biển thì không. Biển cả mênh mông. Tình bạn ngày hè cũng rộng dài như thế.

Mà biển thì đẹp. Truyện cô Chuối toàn biển, đâu cũng thấy biển. Đôi khi biển hệt như nhân vật chính, còn con người là phụ, nên văn cô viết đẹp như biển. Biển kéo dài tình cảm, loang đi nỗi buồn, hàn gắn vết xước, ôm trọn thâm tâm. Biển như một lời hẹn, nhắc nhớ khi xa. Biển là động lực, là hồi ức, là giấc mơ. Biển là nhà.

Đọc Kitchen, thấy thích cô Chuối. Qua Amrita thì bớt thích lại. Tới Nắp biển thì vô cùng mến mộ. Xong N.P thì hẹp đi một chút. Giờ thì khỏi nói, thích tới vô cực 🥰
Profile Image for Aviones de papel.
219 reviews110 followers
February 27, 2019

Muy bonito, me encanta la forma de escribir de Banana Yoshimoto, es muy lírica sin resultar empalagosa o cargante, se nota que está trabajadísima, me fascina. La historia es muy melancólica y bucólica de estas que parece que no te esta contando nada, pero fluye de una forma muy liviana y entretenida, vamos que es maravilloso lo que hace esta autora, ahora tengo muchas más ganas de leer Kitchen, que por lo visto es su obra magna, espero hacerme con ella en breves.
Profile Image for Ana.
Author 14 books195 followers
January 25, 2020
3,5 *

Durante umas arrumações, encontrei este livro esquecido numa caixa. Nada sei sobre ele, nem sequer se fui eu mesma que o comprei.

Para além desta forma "diferente" como ele cruzou o meu caminho, outros factores me deixaram intrigada e com vontade de o ler: a autora que eu desconhecia (pensava até que era um autor); a capa que achei bastante atractiva; e a sinopse prometedora. Não me fiz pois de difícil e foi só o tempo de terminar o livro anterior para pegar neste.

Se estranha foi a forma como tomei contacto com este livro, também estranha foi esta leitura. Mas uma "estranheza boa", como me acontece amiúde com os autores japoneses.

O enredo gira em torno de Tsugumi, prima da nossa narradora (Maria Shirakawa). Tsugumi é uma jovem diferente das outras. De saúde muito débil desde a nascença, o prognóstico de uma vida curta, influenciara a forma como os seus pais a educaram. Dizia-se que havia sido "estragada com mimos", mas a natureza difícil e maliciosa de Tsugumi não parece ser unicamente justificável com tal facto.

É uma história muito bem escrita. Uma história de memórias, de verão e de juventude. As descrições da autora são muito bem feitas e o enredo, apesar de simples, é diferente e inesperado. A autora manteve-me interessada por estes dois motivos: a excelente escrita e o enredo "estranho/bom".

Não gostei o suficiente para ser uma "leitura recomendada" porque nao me tocou particularmente, mas foi sem dúvida uma leitura bastante agradável.
Profile Image for Rachel.
189 reviews24 followers
September 17, 2013
Just finished this 186-page book, strangely enough it felt quite long, despite the number of pages being quite short. Spoilers ahead.

Goodbye Tsugumi is described as 'An elegiac story of two young cousins coming of age at the Japanese seaside', 'an enchanting novel from one of Japan's finest writers. Marie has grown up at the seaside alongside her cousin Tsugumi, a lifelong invalid, charismatic, spoiled and occasionally cruel. Now Maria is moving to Tokyo to go to university, and Tsugumi invites her to spend a last summer by the sea. A restful idyll becomes a time of dramatic growth as Tsugumi finds love, and Maria learns the true meaning of home and family. She also has to confront Tsugumi's inner strength and the real possibility of losing her.'

The main problems I had with this book were the translated word choice, the constant stating of the obvious and the ending, especially (!!!) The ending might have killed it, I might have otherwise rated it a 5 out of 5. I expected Tsugumi to die at any moment throughout the book, and she never did die! It made me quite upset. This book is about loss, but the main character who I assume after being so intensely fleshed out in terms of characterisation would finally pass on, leaving the reader in tears, never actually happens! I suppose it is an evil trick of Banana Yoshimoto. Tsugumi is a brilliant character, though sometimes the word choice the translator (Michael Emmerich) has picked out seems a bit off, e.g. 'howdy', 'wretch', it makes the work seem to be set in the distant past and the vocabulary just makes your skin crawl. I wish he had chosen better words, or at least, USED A THESAURUS. Word choice should be not too modern nor too ancient such that it is timeless and not transient.

Other than that, I like Banana Yoshimoto's style. Unlike a lot of reviews I've read on the book after finishing it, I found this piece of work to be quite impressive. I liked it better than the other works of Yoshimoto that I have read, like The Lake or like Kitchen. It's probably my favourite of all of her works that I've read. After this, I will probably get myself N.P., Lizard, etc.

Even though a lot of reviewers say nothing much happens, I think the philosophy and the ideas behind dealing with growing up, loss, death, change, are far more meaningful and moving than a plot with lots of twists. In a way the ending is a twist, the book is titled 'goodbye tsugumi' but ultimately, it isn't a real goodbye in terms of losing, but of learning to grow apart from one another and moving on.

The book reminds me of The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. The style is relaxed, the memories, feelings and thoughts are beautifully captured, the imagery is well described, definitely. I really enjoyed that.

Just because nothing "happens" in a book doesn't make it a bad book! I would recommend this for people who can appreciate books that are more emotionally-provoking rather than something really thought-provoking.
Profile Image for Pablo Donetch.
Author 4 books58 followers
September 17, 2018
La literatura japonesa cobtemporánea, lo poco de literatura japonesa que he leído, parece tener bastante en común con la Latinoamericana y, sobretodo, con la chilena. Se centran en historias sencillas y con pocos personajes. Pero, en mi opinión, hay diferencias radicales en cómo se entiende esa sencillez. En ninguno de japoneses que he leído, se ha traducido en una falta de profundidad o en la carencia de arcos evolutivos de los personajes, como si me da la impresión que pasa con la literatura a este lado del mundo.
Hay que tener en cuenta eso sí, que lo que llega a traducirse del japonés al español es, probablemente, lo mejor por lo que la comparación puede resultar un poco injusta, pero aún así no me parece menos válida.
Tsugumi cuenta la historia de María y la amistad con su prima que le da nombre a la novela, en una época atemporal, en que ambas estaban dejando atrás la niñez y ambientada en el hostal de un pequeño pueblo costero.
La prima de María es enfermiza y consentida, pero resulta ser un gran personaje, con un mundo interior al que le sobran riquezas.
En sus sencillez Yoshimoto logra tocar una fibra humana que, a mi gusto, no cualquiera alcanza.
Es un libro corto, cándido y tremendamente recomendable.
Profile Image for Nassif Abou Khalil.
20 reviews8 followers
January 15, 2021
3.5 / 5

Reading a Banana Yoshimoto book is a vivid experience.
Her description of places is so immersive that I was able to clearly see the glittering stars and hear the ocean all while being in my room.
As for the characters, I was drawn to Tsugumi. Yes, she might be vindictive and narcissistic, but she’s so unapologetically herself that one can’t help but like her.
Profile Image for Vishy.
668 reviews210 followers
August 12, 2019
So what do you do after reading one Banana Yoshimoto book? You read another Banana Yoshimoto book :) That is what I did! I read 'Goodbye, Tsugumi'. This book came out in Japanese in 1989 – that was in a really different era. This is the third book I read for Women in Translation Month.

The story told in 'Goodbye Tsugumi' goes like this. Maria lives with her mother, aunt and uncle, and two cousins, Yōko and Tsugumi, in a seaside town. Her aunt and uncle run an inn there, and tourists generally come and stay in their inn during summer. Maria's father lives in Tokyo. He is right now involved in a divorce battle with his first wife. Once things are finalized on that front, he hopes to take Maria and her mother to Tokyo so that they can live together as a family. Maria, Yōko and Tsugumi are close friends, but are very different from each other. Yōko is the nice person, the angel. Tsugumi is the sharp-tongued one. But there is something about Tsugumi. She has a permanent health condition. She falls ill frequently. She hides her physical vulnerability behind her sharp tongue. But behind that sharp-tongued girl, there is a strong person who is fearless, and who has a heart of gold. One day Maria's father arrives and says that everything has been resolved and Maria and her mother can now come and live with him in Tokyo. Maria and her mother move out. Maria starts going to college. One day Tsugumi calls her and says that her parents are going to sell off the inn and this would be their last summer there. She invites Maria to come and spend that summer with them. Maria accepts. That summer, the last one, turns out to be unforgettable. What happens during that summer forms the rest of the story.

I loved 'Goodbye Tsugumi'. Tsugumi is one of the great characters – her sharp tongue, not showing respect for anyone, her readiness to fight for a good cause and go to any extent for it, her sense of humour and her love for pranks, and the way she goes to all lengths to make a prank look real, the way she goes beyond her physical limitations and pain and tries to live life to the full – it is beautiful and inspiring to watch. Yōko is wonderful and one of the nicest people one can meet within the pages of a book. This book is such a beautiful love letter to the joy of friendships. The friendships between Maria and Tsugumi, and Maria and Yōko are beautifully portrayed in the book – they are very different and each friendship is unique in its own way. Kyōichi appears a little later in the book and his relationship to Tsugumi which borders between friendship and love is also wonderfully portrayed in the book. Banana Yoshimoto's prose flows so smoothly that the pages just fly. I finished reading the book in a day which rarely happens for me.

Most of the story is set in the seaside town and I loved the descriptions of the sea and its surroundings. It made me think of some of my favourite descriptions of the sea. To tempt you with more, I'm giving below a description of the sea from this book and from another of my favourite books, 'Promise at Dawn' by Romain Gary. Do tell me which one you like more.

From 'Goodbye Tsugumi' by Banana Yoshimoto

"It's a marvelous thing, the ocean. For some reason when two people sit together looking out at it, they stop caring whether they talk or stay silent. You never get tired of watching it. And no matter how rough the waves get, you're never bothered by the noise the water makes or by the commotion of the surface – it never seems too loud, or too wild...the ocean had always been there, in the good times as well as the bad times of my life, when it was sweltering out and the beach was filled with people, and in the dead of winter when the sky was heavy with stars...it remained just as it was, fanning out around the edge of our town and zooming quietly off into the distance, the tide rising and falling just as it always did, no matter what...And it seemed to me that even if you weren't actively letting your emotions ride its surface, the ocean still went on giving you something, teaching you some sort of lesson."

From 'Promise at Dawn' by Romain Gary

"My first contact with the sea was unforgettable. I had never met anything or anybody, except my mother, who had a more profound effect on me. I am unable to think of the sea as a mere "it" - for me she is the most living, animated, expressive, meaningful, living thing under the sun. I know that she carries the answer to all our questions, if only we could break her coded message, understand what she tries persistently to tell us. Nothing can really happen to me as long as I can let myself fall on some ocean shore. Its salt is like a taste of eternity to my lips. I love it deeply and completely, and it is the only love which gives me peace."

So which one do you like more? Is it Banana Yoshimoto or Romain Gary? Do share your thoughts.

In a story like this in which the lead character has a permanent health condition, the inevitable happens in the end and the dreaded phone call arrives. As the narrator picks up the phone, and the author pauses with her pen hovering over paper, contemplating on the fate of her lead character, our heart leaps from joy to heartbreak, from agony to ecstasy, as we go through the whole spectrum of emotions, and we hope and pray that the author decides to do the right thing and saves us from heartbreak. What happens at the other end of the phone call? I am not going to tell you that, of course. You have to read the book and find out.

I'll leave you with two more of my favourite passages from the book.

"Love is the kind of thing that's already happening by the time you notice it, that's how it works, and no matter how old you get, that doesn't change. Except that you can break it up into two entirely distinct types – love where there's an end in sight and love where there isn't. People in love understand that better than anyone. When there's no end in sight, it means you're headed for something huge."

"This world of ours is piled high with farewells and goodbyes of so many different kinds, like the evening sky renewing itself again and again from one instant to the next – and I didn't want to forget a single one."

Well, that's it :) I loved 'Goodbye Tsugumi'. It is one of my favourite books of the year. I want to read more Banana Yoshimoto now. 'Kitchen' and 'N.P.' are recommended by every Yoshimoto fan I know. I am hoping to read them soon.

Have you read 'Goodbye Tsugumi'? What do you think about it? Which is your favourite Banana Yoshimoto book?
Profile Image for Phyllis.
217 reviews74 followers
July 22, 2020
Lâu lắm mới lại có nhiều cảm xúc đến thế khi đọc sách :D Quyển này cô Chuối viết gợi những kỉ niệm cỏn con hay quá. Đọc mà nhớ ngày xưa kinh khủng. Nhất là mấy đoạn thức đêm, đi dạo trên biển hay hình ảnh cơn mưa... Chẹp. Đoạn tả nào trong sách cũng đơn giản mà gần gũi. Không có chữ thừa.
Profile Image for Alice.
73 reviews42 followers
April 9, 2016
Un libro che mi è piaciuto moltissimo
La prima volta he mi approcciavo con la Yoshimoto
Ora non vedo l'ora di leggere qualcos'altro di suo
Profile Image for Muhamad Mustafa.
88 reviews17 followers
June 7, 2022
5/5 star

No content warning and no age restriction. This book is safe to read.

Banana Yoshimoto in this book explores the relationship between love, death, and change very loudly. and this book is for sure one of my favorite Banana Yoshimoto books.

Goodbye Tsugumi tells a story of a girl named Tsugumi but it does so by a narrator and cousin of Tsugumi named (Marie). The two of them live in a small seaside town. And our protagonist (Marie) is about to take off to university in Tokyo and live with her parent there. However, in summer Marie decides to revisit the old seaside town and spend her time with her cousins. What is important to know is that Tsugumi is sick. She has a chronic illness that eventually kills her and makes her very weak, very vulnerable, and fragile. She has to stay at home all the time. And Tsugumi is an angry character on the outside. She is mean, cold, and says awful things. She is frustrated and you understand her for all of that but of course, there is a soft and vulnerable center to her because she is always at risk of just suddenly being gone. Despite that illness one day Tsugumi meets a guy named (Kyoichi) and she will form a beautiful romantic relationship with him that made her grow.

Even though it was a bit slow-paced, the translation was absolutely amazing. The writing style was fantastic. I really loved the atmosphere. The book was more about character development and creating amazing scenery that you just love. And I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Lectora Triste.
213 reviews72 followers
July 12, 2021
Supongo que cuando ves, desde el mar, el muelle a lo lejos, envuelto en la neblina, acabas por entenderlo: estés donde estés, nunca dejas de estar solo ni de ser un extraño.

Me pareció preciosamente escrito y generó en mí el mismo sentimiento que Kitchen pero de forma algo leve y acompasada. Tal vez merezca una relectura pronto.
Profile Image for Sandra.
791 reviews34 followers
July 27, 2020
Es la segunda vez que disfruto de la pluma de esta autora, y es una auténtica delicia como nos transmite situaciones cotidianas, te evoca tantas sensaciones desde la nostalgia, anhelo...En esta ocasión nos demuestra cuan complejo puede resultar el amor, y se puede ver diferentes tipos de amor y sentimientos.
Además, refleja muy bien una protagonista mordaz, y sin pelos en la lengua y con carácter endiablado al que si la retratara a lo mejor otra autora no llegarías a empatizar tanto como la haces en esta lectura. Esta lectura esta realizada gracias al #club wasi sabi
Profile Image for Charmaine.
52 reviews27 followers
September 16, 2016
This was a slow but pleasant read, with a few meaningful moments dotted along the way. I guess you could say nothing much happens for most of the book, but that's an accurate enough portrayal of real life. Sometimes it's magical, but mostly we're just going through the motions.

Maria's a very real protagonist who feels very real emotions, and so it's incredibly easy to want her to succeed and be happy. Tsugumi on the other hand just felt very...forced. Perhaps it was the translation, but her personality just seemed too over the top. I mean, I get it. She's had a very rough childhood and that obviously leaves its mark, but she always felt more like a plot device than anything else.

The story itself was enjoyable and interesting enough to keep me turning the pages, but it just seemed to fall a little flat towards the end. A nice enough read if you fancy something light, but I'm not sure it quite hits the mark on what it set out to achieve. Well, at least not for me!
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