Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto, Megan Backus
Two novellas, "Kitchen" and "Moonlight Shadow", that both concern the death of loved ones, mourning, and gradual recovery. They're both told in the first person by young women, and set in Tokyo. They have a direct way of telling that charts every shift of the narrators' mobile emotional landscape, and they pay attention to the city and weather outside but always tying it in to their reactions. The gentle quirkiness of many characters in the stories, and their determination to survive and thrive in spite of what life throws at them, is appealing. I enjoyed both of the stories, "Kitchen" more than "Moonlight Shadow".