This “gentle, humorous novel” follows a young Japanese woman as she yearns for the love of a reluctant coworker (The Wall Street Journal).
The objects for sale at the Nakano Thrift Shop appear as commonplace as the staff and customers who handle them. But like those staff and customers, they hold many secrets. If examined carefully, they show the signs of innumerable extravagances, of immeasurable pleasure and pain, and of the deep mysteries of the human heart.
Hitomi, the inexperienced young woman who works the register, has fallen for her coworker, the oddly reserved Takeo. Unsure of how to attract his attention, she seeks advice from her employer’s sister, Masayo, whose sentimental entanglements make her a somewhat unconventional guide. But thanks in part to Masayo, Hitomi will come to realize that love, desire, and intimacy require acceptance not only of idiosyncrasies but also of the delicate waltz between open and hidden secrets, in this novel from the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo that “captures an untranslatable Japanese mood” (The New York Times).
“Uses a series of vignettes to chronicle a girl’s time working at Mr. Nakano’s secondhand store in Tokyo . . . Pleasant, leisurely prose.” —Publishers Weekly
“Hiromi Kawakami’s charming novel illuminates moments of kindness, love and friendship that pop up like the unexpected treasures amid the shop’s dusty collection of pretty mismatched bowls and plates, castoff eyeglasses, task lamps and old electric fans.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune