Friday, April 23, 2010
Review: "If You Follow Me" by Malena Watrous
If You Follow Me is an unconventional love story. It is brutally honest at times, and it offered a window into a culture that is so different from ours. The people in Marina's adopted town of Shika frown on throwing anything away. They have a system to sorting garbage that takes Marina a long time to learn, and she often needs help from her neighbors and supervisor to figure it out. What a difference from our wasteful culture, where we often throw out things that work perfectly well simply so that we can upgrade to the latest and greatest product!
The friendship that develops between Marina and her supervisor, Miyoshi, only served to enhance the story. When Marina's life is falling apart around her- she is having problems dealing with her father's death, and she and Carolyn are having problems in their relationship- soft-spoken Miyoshi, with his love of karyoke and English, is there to help her through it. He's so quiet and unassuming, yet plays a huge role in the book.
If You Follow Me was a story different from many than I've read. I enjoyed the cultural aspect of the book and I enjoyed the complicated friendships and humour. This is of those books that will stick in your mind after you're done simply because it finds a new way to tell an age-old story.
Thank-you to HarperCollins Canada for this review copy. You can browse inside this book here.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Armchair travellers, those looking for a different kind of love story
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010