“Hope, regret, what if, and probably - is love really ‘real’?”
The novel tells the story of Hajime, starting from his childhood in a small town in Japan until the age of 36. Hajime now the father of two children and owner of two successful jazz bars in Tokyo must choose between his wife and family or attempting to recapture the magic of the past.
This was the first book that I’d say I really identified with. It’s about a Japanese guy and his relationships throughout his life and how they shape who he is and the way he sees the world. In the book, a lot of the bad things that happen are due to the main character’s choices, which I liked rather than something happening to him. The end of the book is weird. You feel like you’re going down one path, and understanding what’s happening, and then all of the sudden you start to question if one of the biggest parts of the book is even real. Someone said Murakami likes to drift in and out of reality and the spirit world, which I would say was an accurate description for this book. That said, I really liked it and I connected with the main character on an emotional level, having thought a lot about my relationships and the person I want to become as I grow older.