Any reveals, for the current chapters must be behind spoilers or detail curtains. When we get further in you don’t need to hide details that were revealed in previous chapters.
Questions on vocab, grammar, nuance, and the like are both welcome and encouraged. If you’re not sure if it’s a spoiler, assume it is and use one of the above options to hide the text.
You are encouraged to speculate and guess wildly
Be kind about other peoples’ wild guesses
Even if you don’t read the chapter(s) in time, you are still encouraged to post in the thread for that reading once you have finished it. I advise not reading ahead in the threads as you may see spoilers.
To gauge participation - a poll!
Are you finishing 木洩れ日に泳ぐ魚 ?
Yes, I’m planning to read along/am reading along this week
I’m reading, but not at the same pace as the club
I had no intentions of reading the book, but I desire to click a poll
I finished the book, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I expected there being no resolution, to be honest, but until the last minute I kept hoping for some final twist. I thought I would be horribly disappointed if it ended like this, but there was in fact a very nice, refreshing feeling in her leaving that apartment behind, and realizing there’s more to this world than the private little prison they had built for themselves. I would be happy for her at that point, but then she started digging, and I thought we’d get another flashback or something (why does she dig so much?), and I was sure there were a few pages more but it was in fact the 解説, and then it ended.
So this wasn’t really a mystery after all, but a forbidden love story. There were mystery elements for sure, but in the end, that man died because he was unlucky and a little stupid in how he handled the situation, if Aki’s theory is even correct (when they started talking about suicide I thought they might entertain the idea that he jumped, but no). They could all have been happy if things had gone a little differently, like in Aki’s daydream. Although in that case, they wouldn’t be free of each other, and would keep suffering. A man died to set them free, so they can continue with their lives, I guess.
I’m not gonna lie, when things started to wrap up looking soft and peaceful I started rooting for murder or double suicide. Then in the final scene for her to dig up the bones of a child. I’m a bad person who wants bad endings
Yeah, I agree. Nothing was really solved, so it definitely doesn’t have the satisfaction of a mystery novel and there are no pieces to fit together, just speculation to twist endlessly.
That said, incredibly smooth and easy read, and held my interest throughout.
Well, that didn’t feel like a mystery by the end but I agree it had a strangely refreshing feel! How funny. Although I enjoyed it I will probably give Onda a little break, since I do like endings that tie things up a little more neatly.
Looking forward to medium now (not least because I nominated it) because I have heard that it is very satisfying
I gotta say, I don’t think I would have read this book if I knew the genre wasn’t really mystery. I was hoping for a really satisfying final twist at the end, but I guess that was not where we were going. The story wasn’t bad or anything, but reading with the wrong expectations made the ending feel like a bit of a letdown. Also, I agree with the comments above about wanting a darker and more dramatic ending.
This is what I had been thinking as well. But what crime? The man’s death? The desire for incest? Was there even a crime after all?
By the way, speaking of crimes, I now remembered how it crossed my mind that the twin sister’s death might not have been an accident. There were several moments when Aki mentioned Hiro’s darker side, and there was this brief violent outburst that surprised even him. What if he killer her and doesn’t remember? What if he killed his father too, and doesn’t remember? They both fell to their death, after all. Were we supposed to wonder about that? It was never made explicit.
Back to the cover, I remember from the Eugenia 後書き that Onda had basically decided on all details of the cover herself (I thought it’s normally the publisher who’s in charge of such decisions?). If this is the case for all her books, there must be some special reason for choosing this particular image.
Haha indeed, ‘what crime’ is the real mystery here! If she did choose this cover then I would be curious to understand why.
It’s interesting you picked up on the parallels between the cousin’s death and the father’s death - I really was expecting it to be a case of the ‘twins’ pushing their cousin in the hole, and that’s why they were separated. It could be a classic childish ‘you can’t play with us’ gone very dark.
Yes, that’s what I feel too. Who is Aki really? Is she the twin or the cousin? Did somebody kill the little girl? If so, who? Did somebody kill the man? If so, who?
For the cover, initially I thought the hand is a sign of rejection, like . What does it reject? Love? Passion? The relationship between the two?
But looking closer I noticed the bubbles. Do they wash the hand (in innocence)? Does this indicate there is actually a crime?
Or does the hand show us the bubbles? Saying that everything is vain, fleeting, bound to end? Which was a major theme of Aki’s reflections in the last chapters.
Then again, these reflections feel somehow cathartic for Aki, allowing her to go out and discover the world outside of the little room. Is the soap a symbol of this catharsis?
Actually, when he briefly became violent towards Aki, what did Hiro do? He didn’t hit her or anything, he just shoved her, right? He shoved her and she fell down. And we have two other people around him who were killed by falling. This can’t be a coincidence. We’re at the very least supposed to think he may have killed all three, aren’t we? I’m very surprised Aki didn’t go there.
Is this a man’s hand on the cover, do you think? Or is it unclear? I like @nikoru 's catharsis interpretation. If it’s a man’s hand though, maybe it’s the hand that shoved people to their death?
I checked and you’re right. At the start of chapter 22 she says 彼に張り倒された時、私は奇妙なデジャ・ビュを見ていた。And later 私はじんじんする頬の痛みを感じながら、畳の上に転がっていた。
I had focused on the 倒された part, and that she fell on the floor, but it was a slap. The theory may still work, but it’s a little less convincing. There is this デジャ・ビュ though…
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