Told from the housekeeper’s perspective, this novel starts with the introduction of a brilliant math professor to his new housekeeper. Due to an accident, the professor’s memories reset every eighty minutes. When we meet him, he is covered in sticky notes that remind him of who people are and where he has placed things. He has been through a number of other housekeepers already and is considered difficult. The housekeeper, a single mother, has a ten-year-old son who the professor names Root, as the hair on the top of his head reminds the professor of a square root symbol. Except for the nickname Root, these characters remain nameless. The novel focuses on the interactions between these three characters.
Things of great interest---the nature and circumstance surrounding the professor's injury; its emotional and psychological import; the nature and meaning of his relationship with "the widow" (his sister-in-law); the human (=emotional) costs of, in the narrator's case, being a single mother in Japan---these are never really developed.
In my opinion the pace was too slow, the relationships were too sweet and even the tragic circumstances surrounding the characters could not mitigate that.
The baseball detail was boring for me because I don't follow baseball in general and particularly not Japanese baseball.
Even though the novel was set in modern day Japan, I did not get a sense of the culture or place. The novel could have been set in Middle-America and not lost or gained anything. I think the author missed quite a few opportunities to create deeper or richer scenes and interplays between the characters as the writing was extremely simple; it left those scenes and communications too flat like she walked away from them too early. I don't think this book was particularly interesting, captivating or emotional. I guess I would say it is a "nice" book to read, it only took a few hours. Overall I'd say it was boring and I didn't gain anything from it. When I read a good book, I find myself constantly thinking about it after. I like to become immersed in a book; develop an attachment with the characters and the story. If not, then I at least like to learn something new. This book did neither for me. I would not recommend it unless you would like to read a quick book that's easy to pick up and put down.
un libro su due argomenti, la matematica e il baseball, che assolutamente non mi interessano..eppure non ho potuto staccarmi dalle sue pagine. bellissimo e commovente.
una storia molto tenera raccontata con molta delicatezza. mi è piaciuto molto questo libro.
A delicate tale of affection, the novel resents of some evanescence in plot and definition of characters' traits, typical of some Japanese literature of last decades. That said, it's a very pleasant reading; the professor is an unforgettable character, a mixture of spontaneous kindness, vulnerability and moral strenght, able to deeply change the lives of people around him even in his darkest hours at the end of his life....Continua