By Emily Itami
What’s it about?
Mizuki has chosen to stay at home after she had children. She lives in a beautiful high rise in Tokyo with her well-providing husband and two great children- so why does it all feel so hard?
What did it make me think about?
Is there any life change that is more all encompassing than parenthood? And wow Japanese culture has a lot of expectations. If you thought America struggles with a work-life balance…
Should I read it?
YES, YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK! Why have I never heard about this one? Thank you to Page One books in Evanston for choosing this story for me. I would have missed it otherwise and it is a gem. It must be so hard to write a book that combines humor with insight- Itami manages this with ease. Pick this one up!
“I know I am not the best mommy in the world, because other women- and they don’t even have to be mothers- are constantly, wide-eyed at my parenting faux pas. Other mothers don’t, for example, have to bring their baby home from lunch stark naked because they packed only one spare outfit and the baby managed to poo her way through it, or have the entire elevator system of their apartment building shut down so that maintenance men can rescue their child, who has somehow ended up alone in the elevator and managed to jam the system, I don’t understand how why these things don’t happen to other people.”
“But as soon as the children are born it is blindingly obvious- your heart can’t break unless it has something to love.”