Fault Lines: A Novel
Fault Lines is the debut novel of Japanese-British writer Emily Itami. The story follows housewife Mizuki’s hidden infatuation with an intriguing businessman named Teramoto Kiyoshi.
There isn’t much romance in Mizuki’s day-to-day life. She’s a mother of two young kids, Eri and Aki. She’s the wife of workaholic Tatsuya who is always glued to some sort of screen on the rare occasions that he is even home. Tatsu only looks up from checking his work e-mails to watch sports on the television.
Many people in hard-working, conservative Japan may look upon Mizuki’s life as successful and comfortable. She herself definitely does not see it that way. She seeks freedom and meaning.
I personally didn’t find an abundance of meaning in this book though. There’s nothing overtly horrible about this novel, but it doesn’t have much to offer. It left me wanting a lot more by the end. It’s not quite a romance. It’s not a romantic comedy. It doesn’t feel like compelling literary fiction. In not knowing what it wants to be, Fault Lines makes for a bland read. I found myself wanting to cheat on this novel with a more intriguing one.
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