I have always been amazed by the way some Asian writers craft their character and storyline. The best part is, it is never just about the stories or people but equally about the character’s emotions, their feelings at a particular moment. The level of detailing is so good that you feel like you are in that person’s head all through out the story.
Mieko Kawakami’s Heaven is written in the point of view of a fourteen year old boy who is brutally bullied at his school for his lazy eyes. There is not a single time he is free from the fear yet he chooses to suffer in silence. His life is shed some light when he start exchanging notes with a fellow classmate Kojima who is going through a similar situation and they end up being each other’s safe place and solace. They become comrades through the shared pain. The novel revolves around the duo struggling to make sense of their sufferings, their warm notes and endless talks, philosophies and justifications regarding power and weakness both from the perpetrators and the victims perspective. There are points where you are weighted down by the cruelty and reality but there are also points where it warms you with certain people and words.
The novel gives you no answers, but leaves you with a lot of questions and thoughts to linger on and debate. It is totally up to the reader to choose the philosophy to rely on. Either way, this is an amazing read. I personally loved the writing style and the flow. I left with a heavy heart, I wonder what it leaves you with?.
Note : I listened to it in storytel.