Review: Fault Lines

Emily Itami’s debut novel centers on Mizuki, a Japanese housewife who has all she could ask for, two lovely children, a hardworking husband, and an apartment with a great view of Tokyo. Until she meets Kiyoshi, a successful entrepreneur, with whom she will rediscover herself and doubt her decisions. 

Halfway through the book, I knew it was going to be a 5-star read for me. The prose was vivid with a witty sense of humor, making me giggle and squeal on several occasions. It also made me fall in love with Tokyo, a city I’ve never been to, but the descriptions were so evocative it felt as if I were walking there side by side with Mizuki. It was also a great opportunity to learn about Japan’s culture.

What stood out the most for me was the main character herself. I’m not married nor have children, but Mizuki’s internal monologues were relatable. The gap between the story and the reader was anything but distant. It was easy to comprehend the reasons behind her actions without judging her. 

The ending was realistic and bittersweet. Definitely worth the read!

Having a secret makes me feel like nobody owns me, and that any opinion of me could always be inaccurate; no one has the whole picture, so it’s like trying to judge somebody’s appearance from a shard of broken mirror.

Emily Itami, Fault Lines