Book Review: A Quiet Place by Seicho Matsumoto

a quiet placeWhile away on a business trip, Tsuneo Asai, a section chief in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, learns that his wife, Eiko, has died suddenly back in Tokyo. It transpires that Eiko suffered a fatal heart attack while walking up a hilly street in a part of the city that Asai is certain would have been unfamiliar to her.

Why was Eiko there in the first place? Apart from knowing no one there, Eiko had a weak heart and would have surely avoided walking up the rather steep hill.

When Asai pays a courtesy call to the woman who tried to help Eiko and in whose cosmetics store his wife died in, he notices a love hotel on the street and begins to question what he think he knows about his wife’s life, and what he’s been told about her death.Read More »

Book Review: Yesterday by Felicia Yap

This review was originally published in The Star on 17th October, 2017.


By Felicia Yap

Publisher: Wildfire, too many pages

IMAGINE a world in which people’s memories go no further back than two days? Considering that I rarely remember what I’ve had for breakfast let alone what happened two days ago, this is not a scenario that sounds particularly unique to me.

But jokes aside, I approached Felicia Yap’s novel, Yesterday, with great anticipation because of the hoopla surrounding its acquisition: eight agents fought to represent Yap; the bidding war over her manuscript culminated in Headline Publishing Group paying a six-figures sum for it; and, as of December 2016, translation rights to the book had been sold to 11 countries. No wonder Newsweek predicted that Yesterday would be a 2017 “literary event” – naturally, I looked forward to reading it.

Sadly, I found the book disappointing.  Read More »