The Miracles of the Namiya General Store

Keigo Higashino, trans. from the Japanese by Sam Bett. Yen On, $20 (320p) ISBN 978-1-9753-8257-5
Higashino (Newcomer), a bestseller in his native Japan, departs from his normal thrillers to deliver a sparkling tale about opening up to others’ troubles. Shota, Atsuya, and Kohei are looking for a place to lay low after committing a robbery and end up in the abandoned Namiya General Store. While they are hunkered down, a letter slides through the store’s mail slot—an unnamed woman is asking advice about if she should dedicated herself to pursuing her Olympic dream or stay with the dying man she loves. Through reading the letters, they learn that Mr. Namiya, the former shopkeeper, had devoted his time to answering the mail of anyone in need of advice. Over the course of a single night, the three robbers read letters other people had sent and see their own views on humanity change. In one story, a man dreams of making it in the music world, but when he finds out that his father is sick, he must decide between pursuing his dreams and taking over his father’s shop (and sends a letter to Namiya for advice). In another letter and narrative thread, Takayuki Namiya is shocked to discover his father is healing from his own grief by giving advice to random people, but finally, in his father’s last days, he comes to understand the impact of the letters—both on his father and on those who solicited his advice. Those used to Higashino’s more high-octane plots will discover a new side to the author in this satisfying outing. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/19/2019
Release date: 09/17/2019
Genre: Fiction
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