Allyssa Lee
February 08, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Lonely young women are at the center of these three sparse, sometimes overly subdued novellas in The Diving Pool, translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder. The three heroines are all placed in situations beyond their control — an unrequited crush on a foster brother, a sister?s difficult pregnancy, an imminent move to another country — and Yoko Ogawa evokes an acute sense of ache and isolation in each. Instead of sitting idly by, the women act out against their circumstances in subtle and sinister ways, shaking these seemingly complacent tales into something far more twisted and unsettling. B

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