BOOK REVIEW: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

FUNNY.  QUIRKY. INTRIGUING.

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SYNOPSIS:

She found sanctuary in a supermarket. Now she’s about to lose it.

Keiko isn’t normal. At school and university, people find her odd, and her family worries she will never fit in. To make them happy, Keiko takes a job at a newly opened convenience store where she finds peace and purpose in simple daily tasks.

But in Keiko’s circle it just won’t do for an unmarried woman to spend her time stacking shelves and ordering green tea. As the pressure to find a new job – or worse, a husband – increases, Keiko is forced to take desperate action…

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Date Finished: 10 August 2018

Thoughts on Convenience Store Woman:

This was a QUICK & QUIRKY read. It’s been a couple of days since I finished the book but I had to digest & analyse my feeling on the story and lemme tell you this, it sure helped a lot. Because after I reached the last page and read the last sentence, I was like okay… hmmm…. Okay, so here’s what I think:

KEIKO FURUKURA

is a convenience store employee for 18 years & she sees herself as a peculiar person who needs to be “cured” because that’s what the society tells her. Keiko loves her routinary job that most people find boring & at times others regard as low. There are people who look down on convenience store employees (same in real life) but for her, it’s her whole life. It makes her happy. For some, they may find it menial but for her, it’s like a play; an orchestra of her own.

Convenience Store Woman Book Review_Quote on humanity

To avoid being regarded as weird, she tries to mimic other people’s way of speaking & gestures just to be accepted. If there’s a situation at hand, she acts just the way the rest of the group reacts. Parang tanga, but hey! we’ve all been there. Her friends can’t believe why she’s still single and still a part-time convenience store staff at 36. Her excuse? she tells them she has a “health condition” that’s why she can’t work in a regular office. This happens a lot of times where she had to come up with excuses to justify her social status & job because she’s not like everyone else.

When Keiko left the store para siyang nakipag-break sa jowa. She was somewhat depressed and misses her old job. I mean, it’s quite normal to feel that way, as most of us won’t forget our oldest/longest/ first job. But her longing for the job and the store, it’s kinda weird.

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SHIRAHA

Oh my goodness! I hate this character! Honestly, he reminds me of some people that I know personally and I see him as this sad, kawawa person. He always blames the society for his shortcomings, failures & laziness. ‘Di siya maka-move one from the Stone Age! Hello kuya!!! It’s the 21st century already!

Okay, he pointed out good arguments BUT EVEN SO! You can’t always play the VICTIM card. He plays the victim and then one day, he finds someone (in the person of Keiko) to blame? Naghahanap ng damay, worse, umaasa lang din namn siya. Alam mo yung, kung sino yung walang share at tamad, sila pa yung laging may comment, at galit na galit sa society. KAKAIBA! Honestly, he’s just a freeloader with a huge mouth, who sucks the life out of her. And in exchange for what? just so Keiko will not be bothered by her family & friends ‘coz finally she’s has a partner? I’m like, what?!

Convenience Store Woman Book Review_Quote on society

This is a peculiar story to read. The characters are normal on the surface, but the point of view of the author thru Keiko’s character is extraordinarily weird. The way Sayaka Murata presented the story – thought-provoking.  Should we really follow social norms? Are you classified as WEIRD if you’re normal is not everybody’s normal?

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Isn’t it weirder if everyone follows the what’s supposed to be the way of life & completely forgetting your own personality? And what if being normal means being in a worse situation? One of the sad points of the story was when Keiko was about to settle for a shitty man, Shiraha. And worse was when her sister (Mami) was so happy when she found out that Keiko lives with an unknown man because FINALLY! she’s living a normal life! Nakakaloka! Like, okay lang sa kanya na jobless yung boyfriend ng sister n’ya, as long as she has a person in her life. As long as she’s finally “CURED & NORMAL.” That was just sad…

Convenience Store Woman Book Review

I don’t have the exact words or feelings for Furukura. I’m somewhat in the middle of understanding her and being weirded out. But I did enjoy this one. There were funny parts that I’m gonna leave for you to discover. 😀

FUNNY.  QUIRKY. INTRIGUING.

RATING:

4 stars

Convenience Store Woman Book Review_Quote on society 3

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