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More Days at the Morisaki Bookshop

More Days at the Morisaki Bookshop, July 2024
by Satoshi Yagisawa

Harper Perennial
176 pages
ISBN: 0063278715
EAN: 9780063278714
Kindle: B0CKBV6PQG
Paperback / e-Book / audiobook
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"A slice of life story"

Fresh Fiction Review

More Days at the Morisaki Bookshop
Satoshi Yagisawa

Reviewed by Bharti C
Posted June 28, 2024

Romance Contemporary

MORE DAYS AT THE MORISAKI BOOKSHOP is the sequel to Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa. I've read and loved both books and their beloved characters. The joy, calm, clarity and assurance that they find in life just by being surrounded by books is the magic of these stories. 

In Book 1 we meet Takako and her Uncle Satoru as the main characters and towards the end, her aunt returns home to Satoru after 5 years. Book 1 starts with heartbreak for Takako when she takes refuge at the bookshop to heal herself and towards the end how she moves ahead. In Book 2 we see how Takako and Satoru are doing in life and faring at the bookshop. 

We meet the regulars at the bookshop, Takako's boyfriend Wada and some new characters too. However, as we settle and see how everything is business as usual heartbreak and grief are knocking at the door. Soon Uncle Satoru's wife gets ill and is terminal. Takako is having doubts about Wada, she is also trying to get her friends to give each other a second chance. 

All the while she's putting out small personal fires, she takes refuge at her beloved bookshop and even convinces her Uncle to take a vacation. What follows is some tough days filled with goodbyes, grief and finally moving on once again. 

I like how there's minimal fuss or drama in the story when these characters deal with difficult situations. Why it helps and is pleasant to read because it makes you stay focussed on the issue and deal with it. There's no pushing away, sweeping under the carpet or outright denial, there's standing and facing it all. 

Of course, there's heartbreak, anger and frustration but life goes on and that's what we see. It takes you out of your mind and makes you see that dealing with issues is largely a personal and internal job for most people. 

Once again Morisaki Bookshop weaves its magic and I loved how it is a part of each of their lives and its moments big, small or even mundane ones. The rain and the quiet times at the shop, the hustle and business of the book sales or even the regulars dropping for a chat. It was all enough to make one smile and be happy to be among books and with book lovers. 

If you are curious about Japanese Lit, which to be honest is quite popular these days due to its depth of characters and how it sometimes reads as a meditation on life and all its small, overlooked moments, then do pick up a copy. And if you were worried about reading book 1 and then this book, worry not, there's enough context to pick up and enjoy the story. Though reading both is always suggested for maximum reading pleasure. 

Learn more about More Days at the Morisaki Bookshop

SUMMARY

In this charming and emotionally resonant follow up to the internationally bestselling Days at the Morisaki Bookshop, Satoshi Yagisawa paints a poignant and thoughtful portrait of life, love, and how much books and bookstores mean to the people who love them.

Set again in the beloved Japanese bookshop and nearby coffee shop in the Jimbochi neighborhood of Toyko, More Days at the Morisaki Bookshop deepens the relationship between Takako, her uncle Satoru , and the people in their lives. A new cast of heartwarming regulars have appeared in the shop, including an old man who wears the same ragged mouse-colored sweater and another who collects books solely for the official stamps with the author’s personal seal.

Satoshi Yagisawa illuminates the everyday relationships between people that are forged and grown through a shared love of books. Characters leave and return, fall in and out of love, and some eventually die. As time passes, Satoru, with Takako’s help, must choose whether to keep the bookshop open or shutter its doors forever. Making the decision will take uncle and niece on an emotional journey back to their family’s roots and remind them again what a bookstore can mean to an individual, a neighborhood, and a whole culture.


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