To me, this is a book about coming of age under very difficult emotional circumstances. It's a tale told in a simple and straightforward manner, without surreal elements like those found in other Murakami novels. It's full of sympathetic characters, trying to do the best they can do, and I suspect that this is the reason I didn't feel sad while reading it, even though there's plenty of sad events in the story. A beautiful melancholic novel well worth reading.
Published Nov. 16, 2011 by Penguin Random House.