The Rental Sister
This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
hikikomori, n. h?kik?'mo?ri; literally pulling inward; refers to those who withdraw from society.
Inspired by the real-life Japanese social phenomenon called hikikomori and the professional “rental sisters” hired to help, Hikikomori and the Rental Sister is about an erotic relationship between Thomas, an American hikikomori, and Megumi, a young Japanese immigrant hiding from her own past. The strange, insular world they create together in a New York City bedroom and with the tacit acknowledgment of Thomas’s wife reveals three human hearts in crisis, but leaves us with a profound faith in the human capacity to find beauty and meaning in life, even after great sorrow. Mirroring both East and West in its search for healing, Hikikomori and the Rental Sister pierces the emotional walls of grief and delves into the power of human connection to break through to the world waiting outside.
Named an Indie Next pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, one of Book Riot’s 5 to Watch, and an iBookstore Editor’s Choice in hardcover.
The simple, unpretentious prose made for a quick read, and the pacing kept me hooked. The novel had more adult themes than I was prepared for, which might be an issue for more sensitive or younger readers. There were changes in narration that were a little awkward, going from "I" to "she" to "they," but the interesting characters made up for it. I expected the last quarter of the book to dive deeply into the main character's justifications and psyche after he made some key decisions, but it felt conspicuously tidy, predictable, and as if the author was getting tired of writing the story. That rushed feeling was unfortunate, because the rest of the book was quite thorough and fresh. It's worth reading if you want to spend $12 for a day or three of entertainment.