Book Review: Naoko


Review on: Naoko by Keigo Higashino

Rating: 4.5/5


Imagine hearing that your wife and daughter, who are your only family, are in an accident and upon rushing to the scene you find that your wife is dying and your daughter in a coma. It can lead a man to sink into an unimaginable state of depression, yet the main character of the story is not given the chance to grieve. A while after his wife’s death, his daughter who is in a comatic state wakes up only to find that somehow his wife is his daughter. His wife’s personality has been transferred into his daughter’s body, not knowing whether it’s temporary of permanent.

It’s more than just a dream when his “daughter” knows things that only his wife knows. It continues on for the next few years, with his wife living the life his daughter would have led. To top it all of, his wife develops a double personality with her having a completely different character in his presence, and outside of it.

A very thought provoking book that reminds me somewhat of “For One More Day by Mitch Albom” which gives us another insight as to how one would live their life if they were given the chance to start anew. What I loved about the book is how modern the writer made the characters seem. Despite this being located in Japan, it gave us a more modern but still somewhat traditional perspective as to the character of Japanese parents and teenagers. With the gloomy beginning to start the story, one would think that the rest of the story would stay just as depressing, yet the writer was able to bring in many humorous, dramatic, mysterious and touching moments within the everyday experiences of the two main characters.

The end may turn out to be enthusiastically uplifting, or may lead the reader to an even deeper-insight as to what really happened. In the end though, what the story doesn’t lack is the ability to make the reader re-think their actions in life. An interesting part of the story too is the obvious involvement of the main character, the father, in the everyday experiences that his daughter encounters, which allows us to see a little into how parents see the lives of their children.

A definite must-read, if you’re into a lot of interesting genres put together to give us another world that doesn’t seem too far from our own. Even if we ourselves are not put into a situation wherein we “switch bodies” with someone, the experiences of living possibly 2 distinct/indistinct personalities is not an impossible thing especially with our modern world in which many kids try to act beyond their age and where many adults try to act younger than they actually are. The possibility of having two personalities doesn’t seem that off.

Enjoy~ 🙂


4 Responses to “Book Review: Naoko”

  1. 1 arc
    November 17, 2008 at 12:12 am

    i’ve actually watched the movie adapatation of this (also titled Himitsu – the japanese name of this novel) with ryoko hirosue as the lead actress. it was… i dunno. i’m not quite sure what to make of the ending. how did the story end in the book? i’m no stranger to novels being screwed over and butchered so that people can make a movie adaptation out of it.

  2. November 17, 2008 at 12:21 am

    @Arc: I don’t want to ruin the surprise by giving out the ending. Also, I don’t know how the movie ended, so it would be a bit difficult to compare both endings. Let’s just say that in the book, the father’s “expectations” regarding the situation came true and I guess you can say, it all turned out okay. But the epilogue to the book seems to give a sort of “contradiction” to the final chapter. Right before the wedding, an event suddenly makes you re-think the outcome of the final chapter.

    Do you get what I mean or am I too confusing? I don’t want to spoil it. 😛

  3. 3 arc
    November 17, 2008 at 12:59 am

    hm. i think the final twist was unnecessary and confusing as hell, and that’s as far as i can go i think. are we in the same page? ror. i better rewatch the movie, if only to see ryoko hirosue again. hahaha.

    i dunno… maybe that final twist would make sense to the japanese, but not to other cultures.

  4. November 17, 2008 at 1:11 am

    @Arc: I think we’re on the same page. It’s as if that final twist contradicts the essence of the final chapter. XD Am I correct?

    It might be a Japanese thing..We aren’t Japanese, so we wouldn’t know would we?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

The Doll(dalera)

What lies behind the mask of a doll, kept sheltered and propped against the shelf wall. Beautiful and untouched for all to see, she comes unmasked in beautiful glory.

The Doll behind the mask

A fresh university graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University who loves to write stories, articles and poetry. Enjoys reading books - mostly fiction, and loves to play video games.

My Tweets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 661 other followers



My Flickr Photos

Blog Stats

  • 155,427 hits

%d bloggers like this: