‘If you follow me’ by Malena Watrous

What do you know about rural Japan?

Until a while ago, I knew nothing. Now, I know very little.

It couldn’t be otherwise, since my source is a book that had only the privilege to be set in rural Japan. I’m talking about ‘If you follow me’, written by Malena Watrous.

It’s basically the story of these two girls moving to Japan and finding it hard to cope with the cultural gap. Starting from the fact that they are a gay couple and they are not exactly sure how their neighbors and colleagues would react.

I’m being chaotic here, let’s go with order.

Marina has left the U.S.A. to teach English in a small village called Shika, in rural Japan (you might have guessed that). The reason she left is Carolyn, her brand new girlfriend, who applied for the position first.

They decide to get a house together and it soon turns out to be possibly the worst idea.

Then, when they attempt to throw away their rubbish, hell is let lose. Because in Japan it seems to be particularly hard to throw away almost anything.

Hunted by regrets linked to the suicide of her father and trying hard to realize what is her place in this world, Marina bonds with her supervisor Hiro, mainly through his reproachful letters about litter and manners.

I mean, the story is not too bad, but it certainly says something the fact that I was more impressed by the Japanese strict rules of recycling, than by the love story.

By the way, ‘gomi’ is Japanese for ‘rubbish’. That I learnt.

You can check the Goodreads page of this book, if you like to know more.

If you would like to get it all for yourself, this is the Amazon link.



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