Read as part of CBR13Bingo: uncannon. The novelist is of Japanese descent and her book comes from the perspective a non-white character.
Reading Intimacies was a beautiful struggle. I wanted to like it more than I did. It has a lot going for it. But it’s kind of a donut book in that there’s a big hole in the middle: we know almost nothing at all about the protagonist. There’s little about her background, who she is, what her interests are, etc. Katie Kitamura even withholds her name. And I hate that in books. It just makes it impossible to develop any…well…intimacy with the person whose perspective we are reading.
I’m sure someone who is a less superficial literary critic than I am can explain the reasoning for this (I can hear the throat clearers now: It’s all about translation and how we understand!). That’s well and good but it makes it impossible for me to get invested in the story. Kitamura is a world class writer. Her gift of prose is special. She writes beautiful scenes and strung together, they make a lovely read.
But it just feels hollow. I don’t know why I’m supposed to care since I know next to nothing about the protagonist. All she does is materialize in The Hague and then we get started. Some scenes really pop but on the whole, it’s a letdown.
Still, it’s a four-star read because Kitamura is that talented. This feels like a book more to be appreciated than enjoyed.