What I Read Last Week:
Convenience Store Woman

Welcome to my ‘What I Read Last Week Series’! where I share my new book finds + thoughts about the book on a weekly basis. Feel free to go through the entire reading list here. Be sure to leave your thoughts about the book as well as any other book recommendations you have for me in the comments below.  I love anything romance, british chick-lit, thriller, mystery and a good memoir! Cheers & Happy Reading!

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

SYNOPSIS: Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers’ style of dress and speech patterns so that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society’s expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis—but will it be for the better?

MY THOUGHTS:

I picked up this book for 2 reasons. (1) I really miss travelling in Japan and I thought if I picked up a book about someone living + working in Tokyo, I would be able to fill in the gaps of missing this beautiful country. (2) I’ve always been fascinated to read a Japanese novel. Not being able to read or speak the language, this book was the closest I could get to reading a Japanese novel.

This novel by Sayak Murata shines a light on Japanese culture and social norms. Although this book was a very quick read, Keiko grew very quickly on me and I spent most of the book rooting for her. Keiko is a very odd and strange 36 year old convenience store worker struggling to live her life the way she knows it, while trying to be socially accepted. At different points in the novel, she suffers emotional abuse both from “friends” and strangers for having no ambition or future and not being married & having kids. It seems like everyone feels they have an input and the right to criticise her way of life. Some parts of the book made me really upset, but I think it’s great that the author highlighted these themes. This was a great short read with a powerful message.

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Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

That’s it from me! Please leave any reviews & book recommendations in the comments below. Feel free to also follow along my Instagram page where I update daily with what I’m up to!

Written by Grace Yeung
Edited by Eden Yeung


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