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The Crack Magazine

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Book of the Month: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

I don’t know about you, but I’m so sick of hearing about romance. These days, we know that love isn’t all that matters, that women are more than just girlfriends and wives and that marriage isn’t everyone’s end goal. But when you’re trying to focus on yourself, it can still feel like every song, TV show and real-life conversation is about meeting a love interest, being partnered or getting over someone. What if that’s not your path? In Convenience Store Woman, all Keiko wants is to live a simple life working at her convenience store. But after eighteen years on the job, her family and friends worry that she hasn’t done more with her life; that she’s heading into her late thirties without ever being in a relationship or wanting to be in one. Sometimes we convince ourselves we want something, only to realise it’s just what someone else wanted for us. Keiko is a refreshing character because she’s aware that her desires are unconventional and that she’s playacting as a ‘normal’ to placate the people around her. It’s heart-breaking, leaving you with no choice but to evaluate how much of your personality and life choices really come from a genuine desire and sense of personal truth. I love a quick read, and you can get through this novel in a couple of hours, but it’s sure to stay with you. MG

Published by Granta Books