‘Convenience Store Woman’ By Sayaka Murata [Book Review]

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This book tells a really interesting story about Keiko Furukura, a woman who has worked for the same convenience store for 18 years.

She knows how strange her life has been, and she’s okay with it. She has never been in a relationship, and she doesn’t have a lot of friends, either. Her life has always been so monotonous. In fact, it just revolves around the convenience store. Yet, she doesn’t have any problem with it.

Things change when she meets a guy who’s as weird as she is. He piques her curiosity and suddenly, she begins thinking about other possibilities. Things begin to change as well.

To be honest, I like this book not just for its plot but also for its mood. I think it perfectly captures the charm of convenience stores. Although cyclical, convenience stores are bright and colorful. It’s a place where you can see different kinds of people as well. It’s weird but exciting.

No wonder, the protagonist likes her workplace. She has always been referred to as “strange,” but it does not matter in a place like a convenience store. As long as she knows the right spiels and is attentive enough to provide the assistance customers need, she’s fine. It’s clear that she finds belonging here.

I think her character is also used cleverly to have a glimpse not only of the convenience store life but also of Japanese society. Her observations are peculiar, and in them, one can always find gems that reflect the interesting aspects of the society she’s part of. And, of course, it touches on how women are perceived and what society expects of them.

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