Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister, Keiko's, sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister's affairs, still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago.
But Ren soon finds himself picking up where Keiko left off, accepting both her teaching position at a local cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician's mansion in exchange for reading to the man's catatonic wife.
As he comes to know the figures in Akakawa, from the enigmatic politician to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, Ren delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed, trying to piece together what happened the night of her death. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren struggles to find solace in the void his sister has left behind.
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by Sungju Lee, Susan McClelland
by Kim Man-jung
by John Hersey
by David Aaron
by Carolyn Crimi
by Peter James
by William Kent Krueger
by C.J. Box
by Anne Perry
"Ren Ishida's older sister, Keiko, has been brutally murdered in the small town where she chose to live, away from him and their parents. Narrator David Shih gives a thoughtful voice to this minimalist novel, which is one part murder mystery and two parts family drama. He helps listeners connect with Ren's interior life through the use of somber tones and a hushed pitch, making real the struggle of a younger brother to reconcile the last few years of his sister's life. Shih takes us along for Ren's ruminations on his childhood and the sister he realizes much too late he never really knew. This is a title that will appeal to those who appreciate a quiet style. M.R. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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