Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto, Counterpoint Press.
As in a Japanese tea ceremony, it’s the little things, executed perfectly, that make Banana Yoshimoto’s latest novel so enjoyable. The suicide pact that leaves a wife and daughter grieving and bewildered is a catalyst for their change and growth. Young Yocchan is spreading her wings, moving to bohemian Shimokitazawa in Tokyo. Somewhat to her chagrin, her immaculate, label-loving mother joins her there. With beautiful restraint, Yoshimoto writes about their new relationship, one without the man described as “a hologram projected between us, showing us each a different image”. Elegant and vivid, Moshi Moshi is a paean to community, food, love and family and the small joys of life.