A Separation by Katie Kitamura

Mike’s review

In fairness: I’m starting to read this in SFO for first adult vacation (non-extensive road trip variety), to Hawaii.

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Author photos are always so serious, kinda pretentious. Think I need to be real earnest in one (I’m guilty of this too). Naked and vulnerable once, too.

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Our need to isolate, but also be embraced. How we think it’s only one or the other, but is both, always pulling in competition and sometimes we let one win and we depress because we want to be free to be contained.

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Plot summary: A married man and woman are separated. They have not told anyone. The woman receives a phone call from her husband’s mother, saying the man has gone missing. The mother asks the woman to find the man and for some reason the woman goes to Greece (?) to look for the man. Supposedly to then finalize the divorce or something. The reasoning is tenuous. And then the woman just hangs out in Greece for a really long time. This would have been a really good novella where the woman debates whether or not she should go and then decides not to; the reader would get all the juicy philosophizing about relationship and obligation to former families, but we wouldn’t have to sit and do nothing on a weird non-vacation for so long.

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Accidental solo vacation…coincidence?

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“[Every romance requires a backdrop and an audience], even–or perhaps especially–the genuine ones, romance is not something that a couple can be expected to conjure by themselves, you and another, the two of you together, not just once but again and again, [love in general is fortified by its context, nourished by the gaze of others].” Holy shit, this may be right.

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This benefitted greatly from being read on vacation. Otherwise it would have taken me two months to finish. Beginning had tones of epiphany-like beats and then just slow drudge.

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