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review 2015-06-02 15:11
The Snow Kimono - Mark Henshaw

After the shock of learning that he has a daughter in Algeria, inspector Jovert gets to know his neighbour Tadashi Omura. The Japanese man has to share an interesting story with the inspector, although he never explains the reason he feels the urge to do so. As Omura's life unravels we learn more about his childhood friend, Katsuo Ikeda, who has played a major part in the story that has brought the elderly man into the present. In the meantime, Omura's complicated story forces Jovert to face his own, buried memories. 


The story of The Snow Kimono is filled with love and loss. Great emotions, as well as relationships that feel strong, lead to isolation. Secrets well-hidden eventually come to light and drive the lives of the protagonists into unexpected paths. Memory is a savage editor. It cut's time's throat. In the end, the lives of the people involved seem staged by this strange fate. It's like all of this happened in order to make Jovert and Omura do what they should long ago. But the story is not just emotional. At times, it's shocking and disturbing, making the crimes committed even more painful. 


Jovert and Omura are both very likeable characters. The Japanese man at the beginning seems a little weird because he acts like a stalker. He waits for Jovert outside of his apartment, he invites himself in it and even makes an appointment for dinner without asking the inspector beforehand. But as we learn more about his life, we see that he is a man of principle. The French man, on the other hand, is someone that hasn't come to terms that he's retired. This is the reason why he feels that he's missing something from his life. He's offered, though, another explanation for this emptiness and this is the existence of his daughter. At first, he is sceptical towards Omura, but who wouldn't be? Lastly, Katsuo is a self-centered character. He has a way of looking down on everyone else and plays with their feelings. He is the reason for many of Omura's misfortunes. 


The Snow Kimono is well-written. The narrative is poetic and this makes it a heartfelt read. Sometimes I lost myself between the stories because the author jumped from one character to another without an introduction or a transitional passage. At other times, I got the feeling that I was reading more Katsuo's story than that of Omura or Jovert. Indeed, most of the narrative concerned incidents from Katsuo's life that Omura was present. Nevertheless, the end was rewarding and I forgot most of my objections.


After reading this novel, I want to search the rest of Mark Henshaw's books. The writing impressed me and the story made me feel a variety of emotions. So, I would say that The Snow Kimono is a novel worth reading. I would recommend it to everyone, especially those who like deep, emotional reads.  

Source: thereadingarmchair.blogspot.gr/2015/05/arc-review-snow-kimono-by-mark-henshaw.html
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review 2015-03-31 12:47
The Snow Kimono - Review.
The Snow Kimono - Mark Henshaw

Publication Date: 9th April from Tinder Press

Source: Bookbridgr


On the same day that retired police inspector Auguste Jovert receives a letter from a woman claiming to be his daughter, he returns to his Paris apartment to find a stranger waiting for him.
That stranger is a Japanese professor called Tadashi Omura. What’s brought him to Jovert’s doorstep is not clear, but then he begins to tell his story – a story of a fractured friendship, lost lovers, orphaned children, and a body left bleeding in the snow.


The Snow Kimono is a strangely wonderful and poetic read, honestly I found a lot of it a bit odd but beautiful and very compelling.


It is quite difficult to say what it is about – the narrative follows a tale being told, to a person who is not sure why he is hearing it. It is a complex and elegantly woven story, a puzzle within a puzzle that twists and turns its way towards understanding for the reader.


There is a journey made up of memories here, a gentle unfolding of lives with a very clever construct that makes it highly addictive even as a slow burner. Despite being unsure where it is taking you, you will know that you absolutely want to get there – indeed as you head into the final chapters you may find it very hard to put aside.


Absolutely gorgeous prose, often giving a creepy and unsettling feeling, what I call a chilly read, one that will stay with you long after finishing. A really really good read.


“In Japan we have a saying. If you want to see your life, you have to see it through the eyes of another. But what if what you see is not what you want to know”


What will be seen in The Snow Kimono? I would recommend you find out.


Happy Reading Folks!

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