With graceful, sensitive prose, Yuko Tsushima tells eight slice-of-life stories of lonely, burdened contemporary Japanese women who seek ˝a sense of well-being that captured . . . what the word happiness meant.˝ In ˝South Wind,˝ Akiko takes a lover; her husband and daughter leave her.
She bears the lover’s child and raises him on her own, with occasional visits from the father.
The title story features another single mother, ˝hemmed in by the cracker crumbs, plastic blocks, empty juice cans, underwear and socks that littered the room,˝ who takes her two children to see a beautiful beach but instead finds a seashore strewn with rubbish.
In ˝The Chrysanthemum Beetle,˝ Izumi suspects that her boyfriend has another lover; she finally confronts him and walks out.
Then the other woman calls and asks to meet her.
Tsushima (Child of Fortune) conveys the passion and pain of her characters through her vivid accounting of the details of everyday life.