*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories
Author: Rebecca Otowa
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Synopsis from Goodreads:
From the unique standpoint of an American woman who married into a Japanese family and has lived in Japan for more than thirty years, Rebecca Otowa weaves enchanting tales of her adopted home that portray the perspective of both the Japanese and the foreigner on the universal issues that face us all—love, work, marriage, death, and family conflict.
Exploring Japan in the past and present, The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories, is a lively collection of writings that express both Japanese and foreign perspectives of daily life. These stories were presented in easily digestible but thematically rich soundbites that made consuming this book incredibly fluid and comforting. It was easy to read a story or two, then put the book down, only to continue on again later. My favourite stories were “A Year of Coffee and Cake,” “The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper,” and “The Rescuer.” All of the stories in this compendium, including my favourite three mentioned here, have a sinister undercurrent and quirky tones that highlight just how unique Otowa’s writing style is. It takes true skill to capture a reader’s attention and to enthral and engage them in a short story as there is so little time to convey the action and overall plot. Otowa does an excellent job of challenging the reader’s perspective and throwing our simple realities into question. Her stories are full of detail which bring these vibrant stories to life.