Melody
ISBN-13: 9780802139917
Publisher: Grove Press
Published: 2002
186 pgs
(Translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich)



If you read my last Teaser Tuesday post, you might have remember I had posted two sentences about a girl being wilful and sneaky. She is none other than Tsugumi, the cousin of the narrator, Maria in this story.

Maria Shirakawa is raised from a single family; her mother is never married as she is mistress to Maria's father. Despite the circumstances, Maria is actually a thoughtful and matured young lady. She has grown up at the seaside with her cousin, Tsugumi Yamamoto, whose parents owned a small inn and both Maria and her mother live with them.

Since young, Tsugumi developed an unnamed illness and this has caused her to be mean and getting away from whatever things she has done. Fearing for her illness, her parents gave in to her wilfulness but it is only Maria that is able to see through and tolerate her behaviour. Though sometimes Maria is resentful of Tsugumi, there are times that she actually admires her younger cousin's outrageous attitude and staying true to herself.

Thereafter, Maria's mother reunited with Maria's father and they have to leave the inn and move to Tokyo. Maria attended a university there and it is only through her visit to the Yamamoto Inn during summer before its closure that begins this bittersweet, nostalgic story between the two cousins and how everything that happened has somewhat changed Maria's view on Tsugumi and life in general.

Goodbye Tsugumi is one excellent story about bonding and friendship between two teenaged girls. Once again, I find myself being swept away by Yoshimoto's prose because her writing is simply lyrical and beautiful. Her stories always ignite a feeling in me, be it happy or sad and this will often lead me pondering about the issues she had put into her books. In this case, it made me think about one's inner strength (Tsugumi's strong attitude despite her sickness) and the old saying about how one never judge a person by his looks.

Goodbye Tsugumi is more than saying goodbyes as the title suggests, it is also about finding love and seeing through the changes in one's life. If you are looking for a well written character-oriented story, this book is for you.


Other blogs reviews:
Biblio File
Katrina's Reads
Ready When You Are
Things Mean A Lot
(Let me know if I have missed yours.)
14 Responses
  1. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    What a wonderful sounding book! I personally believe in finding the beauty in people. I will admit there are one or two people I know that I think have none, but generally can find it in people. I know that I would be enchanted with this book!


  2. Nymeth Says:

    Beautiful book, isn't it? I read it for the last read-a-thon, and though not that much happens plot-wise, I couldn't put it down.


  3. Iliana Says:

    I love it when a story can make us feel such deep emotions. this sounds like a must read for me!


  4. Julia Says:

    That is such a beautiful book and I'm glad that you enjoy it. Deep emotions book are always good :)

    great review! :)


  5. Trish Says:

    Wonderful review, Melody! I love love love character books and it sounds like this one has a lot of depth. It's definitely going on my Japanese Challenge list for the end of the year. Plus I love the name Banana. :)


  6. This does sound good, Melody! I am looking forward to reading this one someday. Great review!


  7. violetcrush Says:

    I love the cover of this book. I have to put this on my wishlist


  8. Debi Says:

    Oh Melody, thank you! I first wrote this on my wish list after Nymeth's review, but I have to admit in the crush of the seemingly millions of titles I write down, I had forgotten all about this one. Your review was a lovely, lovely reminder!


  9. Dar Says:

    Lovely review Melody! I definitely would like to fit reading this book into my schedule somehow. I'm glad you liked it and I still love that cover.


  10. Ladytink_534 Says:

    I'm going to have to agree with many others, it sounds like a beautiful story!


  11. Amy Says:

    I've had this on the TBR pile for seemingly ages! This really makes me want to pick it up!


  12. Melody Says:

    Sandy - I love reading any character-oriented book. Some of them made me think and I love it! I hope you'll enjoy this book if you get to it. :)

    Nymeth - Indeed it is! I'm definitely looking forward to reading more Yoshimoto's books in the near future. :)

    Iliana - Tsugumi isn't really a likeable character, but you'll know why if you read the book! ;)

    Julia - Thanks! I love reading books that evoke great emotions in me, be it happy or sad!

    Trish - When I read this book, I think of you because I know how much you love a character-oriented story! ;)

    Wendy - Thanks! I think you might like this one. ;)

    Violet - I love both covers! Each is pretty in its own way.

    Debi - I'd read two books by this author so far but I'm already hooked to her works! I'm glad my review is a lovely reminder to you. ;)

    Dar - Thanks! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

    Jen - It's a beautiful story. Plus the writing is beautiful too!

    Amy - I hope you'll read this book sooner! :)


  13. Trish Says:

    Hmmm--I must have said something once or twice about me liking character books? :P Sounds about right! Hope you're having a great week, Melody.


  14. Melody Says:

    Trish - Yes, I think you did! :P I hope you've a great week ahead.