A young woman moves to Tokyo after the death of her mother, hoping to overcome her grief and start a career as a graphic artist. But she spends her time staring out of the window, only to realise that there is a young man across the street staring out of his window too. They eventually embark on a hesitant romance, until she learns that he is the victim of a childhood trauma. Visiting two of his friends who live a monastic life beside a beautiful lake, she begins to piece together clues that reveal that his troubled past includes a bizarre religious cult.
Praise for "The Lake." "The Lake" attests to the power of emotional intimacy to help even the most 'ridiculously fragile people' overcome trauma and grief."--Hirsh Sawhney, "The New York Times Book Review" "The simplicity of this elliptical novel's form and expression belies its emotional depth...There's almost an artistic sleight of hand in the latest from Yoshimoto, a novel in which nothing much seems to happen yet everything changes."--"Kirkus Reviews," "Yoshimoto's marvelously light touch is perfectly captured by Emmerich's pristine translation."--"Publishers Weekly" "Yoshimoto aficionados who have savored any of the dozen-plus novels she's written over the last three decades since she became a near-instant pop literary phenomenon with "Kitchen" will recognize her signature crisp, clipped style (thanks to exacting translator Emmerich's constancy) and revel in her latest cast of quirky characters. Newbies with a penchant for Haruki Murakami's mind-bending protagonists or Yoko Tawada's sparse precision will do well to begin their so-called Bananamania with this beguiling title." --"Library Journal" "Reading ["The Lake"], you realize just how conventional most love stories are."--"New York Times" "Touching.""--Miami Herald" ""The Lake" demonstrates Yoshimoto's deepening talent, and her craft for quietly revealing an enveloping and haunting world." "--Cleveland Plain Dealer" "Yoshimoto is in peak form in this mesmerizing and suspenseful drama of the perils of brainwashing, from class bias to intrusive advertising to an infamous cult. Social conventions, memories and dreams, and the creative process are all explored with exquisite insight in Yoshimoto's beautifully mystical and hopeful novel.""--Booklist" "Yoshimoto's simplicity -- both in prose and narrative -- speaks to a mastery of form....The Lake will haunt you.""--Thought Catalog" Praise