#13 Convenience Store Woman| A good book and a cup of tea

A deadpan, slice-of-life that is unexpectedly moving and brilliantly original. Convenience Store Woman seamlessly finds humour in what is the often times an intimidating reality; a life lived outside of society’s expectations. ⭐4.5 Stars⭐

Keiko is 36 years old.

Keiko is a convenience store worker.

Keiko goes to work every day, with the same people, wearing the same uniform and shouts the same greeting to her customers.

She has done the same thing, and stacked the same shelves for 18 years.

But she has a secret…she’s only pretending to be normal.

Keiko has found true happiness in the most unlikely of places; the wonderfully ordinary convenience store in which she works.

Her parents and her friends think she should get a ‘real life‘; a husband, kids, actual hobbies but Keiko is determined to live a life she loves regardless of how odd everyone thinks she is because of it.

The pros:

  • This little book packs a LOT of punch and unpacks the realities of being a social outcast extremely well. Keiko is a woman who has constantly, since her childhood, been labelled as odd and difficult. It is suggested, but not confirmed, that she is on the autistic spectrum, and has difficulty navigating the social situations and lacks empathy for others as a result. Her prickliness and social ineptitude gets her in a lot of a trouble growing up. Keiko’s story expertly explores how the judgement of others can have the potential to break you.
  • While Convenience Store Woman deals with several difficult themes, it manages to do so with HEAPS of pitch-perfect deadpan humour. I loved the funny, off-beat writing style. Keiko’s hilarious, unapologetic demeanour was really celebrated by the author, regardless of what Keiko’s friends and family thought which bought me so much joy.
  • There’s something about mundane settings in books (like convenience stores, of course!) that I kind of love. Sayaka Murata perfectly creates a very real, flawed yet resilient character in Keiko and an interesting peak into everyday life in Japan, holding an insightful mirror up to the world in which we live.
  • I’ve been reading a ton of Japanese Lit lately and this has been one of my favourites!

The cons:

  • There wasn’t enough of this book! I felt as if Keiko had so much more to say, and so much more of life to experience and it would have been fascinating to see her grow and mature in her later years.
  • There wasn’t quite enough plot to this book, I felt as if I was just scratching the surface. While I was curious to see the world through Keiko’s eyes I also wanted to know more about Keiko’s parents; the way they raised her, their lives now, her friends and her future.

Read this if you loved: Sweet Bean Paste, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine 

Have you read Convenience Store Woman, what did you think? What are you reading this weekend? I hope you’re all having a lovely one!

Disclaimer: Links to the book are amazon affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you buy through my link. Thank you so much if you use my link, but you don’t need to – reading this review is enough for me – but if you do that’s amazing!

Fi x


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