A young Belgian woman is in Japan to earn money teaching French. One day, in answer to an advertisement she had posted offering her services as a French teacher, she receives a phone call form Rinri, a University student who needs extra tuition. He comes from a rich family and is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps at jewellery school. As the lessons continue they slowly grow closer. In due course they become lovers and get engaged, despite his parents’ disapproval.
Author: Amélie Nothomb was born on July 9, 1966 in Belgium. She is from a distinguished Belgian political family. During her infancy she lived in Japan, China and other Asian countries. Amélie has written twenty-two novels.
My thoughts: I found this novel refreshing and inviting, a voyage to Japan and an insight into Nippon culture through this romance between Rinri and a Belgian woman. Amélie Nothomb draws the story from her time in Japan during the 90s highlighting the differences and, at times, the clashes between Western and Japanese cultures As I read this novel I always had in mind my school friend M. who comes from Japan, a country I have never visited but dream of getting to know one day.