Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sea of Trees by Robert James Russell

So here's my short review about this book. The offical review will be posted at eventually...

I was surprised at my reaction to this book. I am not sure what my expectations were going in, but coming out I was shocked at how much it haunted me. I had a few minor issues with this book and I have to admit I still don’t quite understand ending (no spoilers I promise). That being said this book does stick with you. The writing alone is beautifully haunting in its description that is until Bill the American speaks. Then he just sounds downright immature whose only focus is himself and his needs.  

During the book we learn of different people that have come to Aokigahara Forest to end their lives and why.  We also learn that Junko’s sister Izumi was one of those people. From my experience and background I figured out pretty early on why Izumi killed herself, but I can see where it was a mystery to others.   The forest is beautifully described and each suicide was written in such a way I connect to most of the people. It drove me to understand why they would go forth with ending their lives.

The best part was learning about a different culture. Too many times when I read books like this I tend to see it in an American setting with only Americans. This time not only did I feel as if I was in Japan, but I understood a little more about their culture. I wish Bill would have helped with that as an American visiting, but most of the imagery came from the writing itself and the suicide notes.  Again it is a good book a little heavy, but one that will make you sit back and think. I enjoyed it and would like to see more from this author.

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