Fault Lines: A Novel - book cover
  • Publisher : Custom House
  • Published : 07 Sep 2021
  • Pages : 224
  • ISBN-10 : 0063099802
  • ISBN-13 : 9780063099807
  • Language : English

Fault Lines: A Novel


"What is the cost of a mother's desire?...Emily Itami explores this question with wit and poignancy." -- New York Times Book Review

"The perfect marriage of Sally Rooney and early Murakami." -- Kathy Wang, author of Impostor Syndrome

Mizuki is a Japanese housewife. She has a hardworking husband, two adorable children, and a beautiful Tokyo apartment. It's everything a woman could want, yet sometimes she wonders whether she would rather throw herself off the high-rise balcony than spend another evening not talking to her husband and hanging up laundry.

Then, one rainy night, she meets Kiyoshi, a successful restaurateur. In him, she rediscovers freedom, friendship, and the neon, electric pulse of the city she has always loved. But the further she falls into their relationship, the clearer it becomes that she is living two lives-and in the end, we can choose only one.

Funny, provocative, and startlingly honest, Fault Lines is for anyone who has ever looked in the mirror and asked, who am I and how did I get here? A bittersweet love story and a piercing portrait of female identity, it introduces Emily Itami as a debut novelist with astounding resonance and wit.

Editorial Reviews

"What's intriguing about Fault Lines is its shrewd commentary on Japan's societal expectations of women as either sex objects or dutiful mothers. As Mizuki eventually learns, it's in striking a workable balance between these two dichotomies - her past life versus her present one, titillating desire versus familial obligations, who she wants to be versus who society dictates she should be - that the real work of living begins." -- Washington Post

"What is the cost of a mother's desire?...Emily Itami explores this question with wit and poignancy." -- New York Times Book Review

"Sharp and stunning." -- New York Post

"This remarkably strong debut has volumes to say about choices, adulthood, tradition and freedom." -- Ms. magazine

"Mizuki is one of the most engaging adulteresses I've ever encountered, and a wonderfully witty guide to the morals and mores of contemporary Tokyo. I now know just how to behave while picking up children from school, or meeting strangers. Fault Lines is a moving and suspenseful novel full of the best kinds of incidental wisdom." -- Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Field

"Fault Lines manages to be clever, wise, and heartbreaking all at once -- the book is the perfect marriage of Sally Rooney and early Murakami, with a unique insight into marriage, motherhood, and warring cultural expectations that is all Emily Itami's own. Absolutely brilliant." -- Kathy Wang, author of Impostor Syndrome

"Brilliant." -- Booklist

"A complicated romance with immense empathy for all its characters and their flaws [and] a wonderfully nuanced take on Tokyo life...Read This If You Like: Stories with funny, complicated protagonists at the helm, with steamy romance and family drama mixed together." -- Popsugar

"A brilliant modern love story. I found it atmospheric and transporting but also wise, clever, and universal in its exploration of love, family, and identity. I loved it." -- Cathy Rentzenbrink, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Last Act of Love

"An addictive and beautiful novel with a fantastic voice, full of wry humor and sharp observations. It's funny and tragic, passionate and bold, and I know I'll be thinking about it for a long time to come." -- Kate Murray-Browne, author of The Upstairs Room

Readers Top Reviews

Lucy weldonMichelleK
A lovely visit to a different and slightly strange culture. Still marriage and children are much the same. A magical story.
Loved this book! I hope Emily Itami continues writing novels.
Slowly to drink in every phrase of imaginative words and phrases to describe ordinary life. She illustrates both sides of motherhood….the everyday mundane tasks that take up most of our lives……and the sheer amazement and joy in moments of pure love with our children. Just beautifully written.
I suppose this would be something you know you want? It was a requested gift

Featured Video