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Yoko Ogawa: The Housekeeper and the Professor (2009) 4 stars

The Housekeeper and the Professor (博士の愛した数式, hakase no ai shita suushiki) (literally "The Professor's Beloved …

Review of 'The Housekeeper and the Professor' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This was an adorably sweet story about a housekeeper tending the house for a mathematics professor who has memory issues. Every 90 minutes, he forgets everything and has to start again with remembering who people are and his own mental situation. The one constant he has is his love and knowledge of mathematics, and it is through this that the housekeeper and his son come to make lifelong friends with this unique individual.

Because the professor uses mathematics to make sense of uncomfortable situations, there's a lot of mathematics discussion about amicable numbers, prime numbers, etc. But even if you don't know much math (or like much math, like me), you don't need to in order to enjoy this book. Baseball also comes up a lot, and while I know nothing about Japanese teams or players, I still felt right there with them when at the baseball game.

I really enjoyed this sweet book that follows their friendship from meeting (over and over again) all throughout the Professor's life. Rather than end on a sad note, the book remains lighthearted, upbeat, hopeful throughout, which I really appreciated.