Convenience Store Woman is a charming novel about a quirky and socially inept character who defies convention, baffling everyone around her.
When Keiko Furukura starts working at a convenience store during her time at university, she feels that she has finally found somewhere she belongs. She loves the predictability of stocking the shelves, counting out bills, and talking with regular customers. Pulling from the behavior of her colleagues, she’s able to piece together the appearance of what people expect of a woman her age.
But eighteen years later, both her family and her co-workers at the convenience store wonder why she hasn’t found a husband and moved on from the store. As their questioning becomes more insistent, Keiko is faced with the decision to conform or to live the life she wants to live.
Murata brings to the page a penetrating look at Japanese culture and the pressure many feel to conform. The woman she creates in this novel is a pleasure to spend time with. Looking at the world through her eyes offers a fresh perspective on tradition and expectations.
Convenience Store Woman comes out on June 12, 2018. Thank you to Grove Atlantic for gifting me this novel in exchange for an honest review.