Review of “ About Her” by Banana Yoshimoto

May 6, 2015

“Those who aim to only one achievement in their life end up to remain overwhelmed”. This is the deeper meaning of an amazing and touching novel titled “About Her”. About her is the translation into English of a book written in 2008 by the Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto and translated into the Italian language in 2013. This book is really touching and it would be very useful, as well as interesting, it was translated in English also. I read the Italian version of the book titled “ A proposito di lei” and admittedly I am very glad to review it.

“About Her” is the story of two cousins: Yumiko and Shoichi. During their childhood, the cousins have lived together and separated when they became adults. After his mother’s death, Shoichi decides to help her cousin Yumiko, who endured a hard shock during her life she can’t remember. Yumiko, indeed, when she was a little girl, witnessed the murder of her father who was killed by her mother. Yumiko’s and Shoichi’s mother were twin sisters. In turn, the sisters witnessed a crime about their mother who practiced sorcery.

This story reveals the darker sides of family relationships where the two twins become adults with different ends. Yumiko’s mother chose to follow the destiny of her mother and practiced sorcery, Shoichi’s mother chose to forget her past forever and take care his son and husband. Yumiko mother’s wants more power, wellness and richness and to get all she desires, she is available to practice witchcraft and spiritualist seances. During one of these seances, the woman believes her husband is the devil and kills him! But not only, all those who witnessed these seances went crazy and ended up to kill themselves.

Moreover, after killing her husband, Yumiko’s mother committed suicide. About her is a book this is fed and nurtured with intense flashbacks that retraces the life of the two cousins who are also the son and the daughter of two twin sisters. The relationship between Yumiko and Shoichi is very closed, inseparable, the man wants to help the cousin Yumiko to keep the promise he made to her mother before she died. “About Her” is the eternal conflict between good and evil, where good is represented by the generous mother of Shoichi and evil is the perverse and mad mother of Yumiko.

Tenderness, care and consolation allow Yumiko to remember and overcome her sad and dreadful past. This book also shows how different choices can shape behavior and lives of people. Shoichi is a man who can love, Yumiko is an unbalanced and sorrowed woman seeking her path in our world. Through a soft language and a poetic style of writing, the author of this book tells a hard story like it was a fairy tale, with infinitive mildness and a deep meaningful.

About Her is the story of hurt souls and a warning to discover back beauty in life, with no research of shortcuts. At last, Yumiko remembers her shock and forgives her mother for all she made during her wrong life. Forgiveness, inner force and sensitivity are the only ingredients can heal the heart and mind upset by an unspeakable grief.

Buy the books by Banana Yoshimoto.

4 Comments

  • april May 14, 2018 at 10:16

    have you been able to find out what had happened to the english edition of this book?

    • Rosalba Mancuso May 14, 2018 at 18:11

      H April, I sent a message to Banana Yoshimoto in the past months to know about what happened to the English edition of her novel, but she never replied to me. For all the readers of this book blog, here is the link to send this question straight to Banana Yoshimoto: http://www.yoshimotobanana.com/privacy_e/.

  • sam January 29, 2018 at 08:14

    hi where did you get your copy of the english translation? i can’t find it 🙁

    • Rosalba Mancuso January 30, 2018 at 18:22

      Hi Sam, thanks for your careful comment. You are right! Currently, it is impossible to find the English edition of About Her. I read the Italian edition, but when I reviewed the book, I checked and the English edition was still available. Anyway, let me get in touch with the author, in order to discover what’s happeneded to this book and update this review. Thanks again for your patience.

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