South of the Border, West of the SunBook - 1998
Years after their separation, two Japanese childhood sweethearts are reunited, and happily married Hajime finds himself prepared to risk everything for the chance to be with his now mysterious first love Shinamoto. 30,000 first printing.
Blackwell North Amer
Hajime - "Beginning" in Japanese - was an atypical only child growing up in a conventional middle-class suburb. Shimamoto, herself an only child, was cool and self-possessed, precocious in the extreme. After school these childhood sweethearts would listen to records, hold hands, and talk about their future. Then, despite themselves, in the way peculiar to adolescents, they grew apart, seemingly for good.
Now, facing middle age, finally content after years of aimlessness, Hajime is a successful nightclub owner, a husband and father, when he suddenly is reunited with Shimamoto, propelled into the mysteries of her life, and confronted by dark secrets she is loath to reveal. And so, reckless with enchantment and lust, Hajime prepares to risk everything in order to consummate his first love, and to experience a life he's dreamed of but never had a chance to realize.
Years after their separation, two Japanese childhood sweethearts are reunited, and happily married Hajime finds himself prepared to risk everything for the chance to be with his now mysterious first love, Shimamoto
From the critics
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But I didn’t understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.
Look at the rain long enough, with no thoughts in your head, and you gradually feel your body falling loose, shaking free of the world of reality. Rain has the power to hypnotize.
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