Original title: Suzuran
In a small Japanese town near the coast in the shadow of the snowy summits of Mount Daisen lives Anzu, a young ceramist who is bringing up her son on her own. Divorced and independent, she is unwaveringly gentle and seems impervious to the vicissitudes of life. Her secret weapon is her love of pottery, an art to which she devotes herself intensely. And then suddenly her elder sister, an incorrigibly single seducer of men, announces that she is engaged.
Anzu discreetly, skillfully and resolutely navigates a course between her sister, her ageing parents, her ex-husband, and her (charming) future brother-in-law. Suzuran – the Japanese word for that delicate flower with the heady scent, the lily of the valley – evokes those snow globes containing miniature landscapes: shaking them suffices to stir up a storm…
- Suzuran is the first installment in a new cycle of novels by Aki Shimazaki, who is a past master of the minimalist family saga.