Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a lovely little story about what gives life meaning, but it reads as heartfelt instead of didactic or cheesy. It stems from the author's experience of the Japanese sensibility that meaning comes from contributing to society, and wanting to explore other understandings of the meaning of life. The narrative manages to start with a focus on dorayaki (pancakes with sweet bean paste) and shift to a focus on leprosy communes, but it works. Only a few characters, with time to develop meaningful relationships, to allow them to connect and grow. Definitely recommended for anyone who enjoys stories about small but meaningful lives, well told.
I requested this book in Edelweiss based on the title and description, but now see there is a movie in the original language.
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