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The Nakano Thrift Shop

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Review of The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami, translated by Allison Markin Powell.


The Nakano Thrift Shop is set in a thrift shop in Tokyo. The main character and narrator is Hitomi, a girl who gets a job in the shop owned by Mr Nakano. The other main characters with them is Mr Nakano's sister, Masayo and employee Takeo. Each of the chapters is named after an object that the thrift shop uses but this isn't about the shop itself but those that work there. This is the second novel of Kawakami's that I read after Strange Weather in Tokyo


Hitomi has a little thing for Takeo, a guy that was damaged through the effects of bullying in school, he is also somewhere between asexual and demisexual. Mr Nakano is married but having an affair with  a woman that works in a similar line. Masayo is seeing a married man.


Quite an endearing read, I enjoyed both Kawakami's style and the gentle humour in the novel. This novel revolves around quite an endearing cast of characters, ok I've used endearing twice in this paragraph so time to wrap up the review.This is just a novel I loved, once I got out the comparison between the shop and Auntie's Wainwright's shop in Last of the Summer Wine


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