Cherry Blossoms

Kim Hooper. Turner, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-68442-176-3
Hooper (People Who Knew Me) gives familiar themes of loss and redemption fresh and inviting life in her entertaining second novel. Jonathan Krause, a copywriter in Los Angeles whose girlfriend, Sara, just left him, has decided to kill himself. He just has to mark off a few to-dos first; paramount among them is taking the trip to Japan he had planned to take with her. Hooper maneuvers the narrative nimbly among Jonathan’s preparations for his trip and his suicide, his meditations on and research into Japanese culture, and his reflections back on his relationship with Sara. After revealing the trajectory of Jonathan and Sara’s relationship with tantalizing languor, the narrative gains momentum when Jonathan meets Riko in his Japanese language class. Riko has her own plans and connection to Japan, and their friendship provides a contrasting element of optimism to Jonathan’s dark intentions. Though Riko is thinly drawn, she is a likable foil to Jonathan, whose sardonic and often funny voice may be off-putting to some for its dips into casual sexism. There’s little in the way of surprise, but readers will enjoy riding alongside this vivid protagonist to the end. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-1-68442-177-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-9871-5656-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-6651-2946-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-6651-2945-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-68441-806-0
Open Ebook - 978-1-68442-178-7
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