Inheritance from Mother

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Mitsuki’s deepest wish–that her elderly mother will die–seems, at first, like the ultimate of transgressions for a Japanese woman steeped in the traditional expectation that elders are to be revered. As Mitsuki’s story unfolds, however, the true colors of her mother, Noriko, are revealed. Far from a selfless, devoted mother, Noriko blatantly favored Mitsuki’s sister, Natsuki, throughout their childhood; she also abandoned Mitsuki’s father in his old age, leaving him to die in a hospital while pursuing an unsavory relationship with a younger married man. When Mitsuki’s wish comes true, she finds herself free of her mother’s oppressive needs–but, at the same time, she feels newly burdened by her family history and haunted by her mother’s desperate search for happiness and fulfillment. Mitsuki sets out for a hotel she loves, intent on self-discovery. What she learns about her marriage, and herself, leads her to a new life stage she never dreamed was possible.

Wrenching, raw, and difficult, Inheritance from Mother suggests that a parent’s influence doesn’t end with death, and that even the weakest souls have the capacity for reinvention–if they can face their shortcomings honestly enough to find it.

Reviewed By:

Author Minae Mizumura
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 464 pages
Publisher Other Press
Publish Date 2017-May-02
ISBN 9781590517826 Buy this Book
Issue July 2017
Category Modern Literature


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