The LakeeBook - 2011
From the critics
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on dad: I guess my mom was all he had—the one flower that smelled like freedom. He was careful never to let outside business intrude on the spaces he shared with my mom. He made it seem like the man he was at home was who he really wanted to be. Whenever he came to spend time with us, he threw himself into household tasks: fixing the roof, puttering in the garden, going out to eat with my mom, checking my homework, tuning up my bike.
on mom: One was sociable and upbeat, a woman of the world who lived in the moment and seemed like a really cool person to be around; the other was extremely delicate, like a big, soft flower nodding gently on its stem, looking as if the slightest breeze would scatter its petals. The flowerlike side wasn’t easy to recognize, and my mom, always eager to please, tried hard to cultivate the feisty, easygoing side of her personality. Watering it, rather than the flower, with lots of love, fertilizing it with people’s approval.
on the pair:
Here we were, two ridiculously fragile people, sliding along on a very thin layer of ice all the time, each of us ready to slip and take the other down at any moment, the most unsteady of couples—and yet I believed what I had said. It would be all right.
There are other interesting quotes at goodreads - the translation, easy read for ESL Japanese youth readers - may not do justice to the author's original spirit:
on mother and daughter:
My mom spoke to me. “You know, Chihiro, darling—all it takes is one little wrong step and you end up feeling frustrated your whole life, like me. If you’re always angry, always yelling at people, ultimately that just means you depend on them.”
All throughout my childhood, whenever my eyes fluttered open at night, my mom would be there, giving my bare stomach a gentle pat, rearranging my pajamas, spreading the blanket over me. How many times had I seen her do this? This is what it means to be loved … when someone wants to touch you, to be tender … My body still remembers that feeling, even now.
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