I recently finished reading the YA selection Half World, by Hiromi Goto. You can read further reviews and follow the author’s blog here: http://www.hiromigoto.com/books/half-world/. I came across the novel while listening to CBC’s Island afternoon show All Points West, where it received rave reviews. I’ve tweeted about it twice but thought it deserved a more in-depth look.
The novel is described as an “epic, genre-bending fantasy from Commonwealth Prizewinning author Hiromi Goto”, and I tend to agree. I recently tweeted that I took the book to be an inverted Persephone myth about a young woman who travels to another world to reclaim her mother. As a high school teacher I found the protagonist’s characterization believable and instantly recognizable. I found the writing to be poignant and heart-felt as it drew me deeper into the story. Goto was able to mirror the ugliness of the world and our ability to transcend that ugliness. Human fragility and strength are doled out in equal measures and it appealed to me as a parent, a teacher and, most importantly, as a reader. I’ll most definitely be turning to more of Goto’s work as I look for future reads.