A Pale View of Hills

Haruki Murakami

Never before have I struggled to write a book review for a novel like this one; I could barely put my thoughts into words for many weeks. The book is conversational. Very conversational that 80% of its contents are dialogues between the characters. I think Ishiguro does not overtly try to trigger his readers to catch the second meaning underneath his story. The narrated surface plot is fairly understandable, but feeling meaningful after all is another story. I had pondered the question of what lessons I could extract from it until I read some in-depth analysis and read again points I overlooked. It was time-consuming to thoroughly understand and pretty “academic” (?) in my opinion.


The story is about a middle-aged woman named Etsuko living in England but haunted by the reminiscence of her life in Japan from the death of her daughter Keiko with a Japanese man. The visit of her latter daughter with an Englishman triggers her recollection of the time living in Japan and the special friendship with a young woman, Sachiko and Sachiko’s daughter, Mariko.


What I learned from the book would be about the fact that people like Etsuko are borrowing the story of others (Sachiko’s story) to confront the truth more easily. They don’t have enough mental power and strength to confess their flaws and embarrassments openly.


I would be happy hearing opinions from you who have read this book.

Summer 2019

June 11, 2019, 3:00:00 PM


novel, japan


A Pale View of Hills