Troy Patterson
August 23, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Goodbye Tsugumi

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Banana Yoshimoto
publisher
Grove
genre
Fiction

We gave it an B+

Before her family moved to Tokyo, Maria Shirakawa lived in a seaside town in Japan, where her uncle ran a hotel and her cousin Tsugumi grew from a sickly girl into an energetically nasty one: ”It wasn’t narcissism. And it wasn’t exactly an aesthetic…. Tsugumi had this perfectly polished mirror, and she only believed in the things she saw reflected there.” In Goodbye Tsugumi, Maria will go back for ”one last summer at the inn.” She will become aware that ”nothing lasts forever.” Despite the tiredness of the premise and the orchestrated tenderness of the plot, Yoshimoto, the author of cult favorites ”Kitchen” and ”Asleep,” freshly conjures teenage growing pains, creating a vital portrait of a complicated friendship.

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