*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Satellite Love
Author: Genki Ferguson
Publisher: M & S
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Synopsis from Goodreads:
On the eve of the new millennium, in a city in southern Japan that progress has forgotten, sixteen-year-old Anna Obata looks to the stars for solace. An outcast at school, and left to fend for herself and care for her increasingly senile grandfather at home, Anna copes with her loneliness by searching the night sky for answers. But everything changes the evening the Low Earth Orbit satellite (LEO for short) returns her gaze and sees her as no one else has before. After Leo is called down to Earth, he embarks on an extraordinary journey to understand his own humanity as well as the fragile mind of the young woman who called him into being. As Anna withdraws further into her own mysterious plans, he will be forced to question the limits of his devotion and the lengths he will go to protect her.
Heartbreaking, spellbinding, beautiful. Satellite Love is an unusual and moving novel about a strange and withdrawn girl, Anna, who makes a connection is a Low Earth Orbit satellite (Leo for short). She calls him down to Earth as her companion and as he observes, she turns inward to herself even further as she develops her secretive and special plans.
I found this book to be just breathtaking. It speaks to the devastation that bullying and neglect can cause, while highlighting the mind’s capacity to protect itself at all cause. For Anna, this book is her reality, although the reader can observe that everything she perceives to be tangible is, in fact, a fabrication of Anna’s mind. She herself admits to the creations of her imaginations, yet she continues to acknowledge them as real.
There is so much to unpack in this novel: loss, bullying, youthful admiration, mental illness, physical illness, dementia, child neglect, broken families, depression. Anna’s life is not a happy one, yet the majority of it is not of her own making. Anna, perhaps strange to begin with, is a victim of circumstance in most cases. She has a history of unusual behaviour that highlights that she does not fully understand the complexities of human behaviour, yet has received no guidance to show her how best to act. Ultimately, Anna is left to her own devices in this sweet, yet tragic and lyrical novel.
Definitely pick up a copy of this for yourself. I’ve a growing soft spot for Japanese fiction, and this one strikes all the right chords. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.