In Japan, a covert industry has grown up around the “wakaresaseya” (literally “breaker-upper”), a person hired by one spouse to seduce the other in order to gain the advantage in divorce proceedings.
When Satō hires Kaitarō, a wakaresaseya agent, to have an affair with his wife, Rina, he assumes it will be an easy case. But Satō has never truly understood Rina or her desires and Kaitarō’s job is to do exactly that–until he does it too well.
While Rina remains ignorant of the circumstances that brought them together, she and Kaitarō fall in a desperate, singular love, setting in motion a series of violent acts that will forever haunt her daughter’s life. As Rina’s daughter, Sumiko, fills in the gaps of her mother’s story and her own memory, Scott probes the thorny psychological and moral grounds of the actions we take in the name of love, asking where we draw the line between passion and possession.
Sumiko is telling the story of her mother’s life.
Sumiko’s father, Satō, used the services of an wakaresaseya, to seduce his wife, Rina, so he could then divorce her for adultery. But his plan goes awry with consequences that echo through all their lives and lead to a tragic crime.
Sumiko had been unaware of this history until a phone call brings these secrets to light. She decides to find the truth of what happened to her mother.
This is an incredible and beautifully written tale of love and betrayal, of loss and grief all set in the stunning backdrop of Japan and its unique culture.
I listened to this as an audiobook and found the narration by Hanako Footman to be mesmerising, she has such a soothing voice and the emotions come across so perfectly. A stunning, tragic love story beautifully told. Haunting and unforgettable.
Thank you to Kate at Orion Books for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook from Audible for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.
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