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Sweet Bean Paste Paperback – 14 November 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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Product details

  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1786071959
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1786071958
  • Customer reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Product description


‘Simply delicious.’


‘I'm in story heaven with this book.’

Cecelia Ahern, author of PS, I Love You

‘Charmingly written, the plot is a continual surprise. A tale of sorrow that feels uplifting by its end.’

i (The Independent)

‘As wise as it is moving, Sukegawa’s novel beguiles and seduces the reader from evocative opening to compassionate close.’

The Herald

‘A poignant, poetic fable.’

Denis Thériault, author of The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

‘Sweet Bean Paste is a subtle, moving exploration of redemption in an unforgiving society... Sukegawa’s writing style, delicately translated by Alison Watts, is well-matched to the subject matter: a slow, muted movement that gently guides the reader, while leaving the unnecessary unsaid... It is an original twist on the “odd couple” genre, in which two unlikely companions find they have much to offer each other, and retains much of the humour that genre entails. A book with deceptive heft and lingering resonance.’

Japan Times

‘Enthralling...This is that rare book that leaves readers truly humbled, reminding us of everything we should be thankful for, and that it is never too late to do something with our lives.’

The Bookbag

‘A polished piece of work, and a decent, touching read.’

Complete Review

‘A beautifully rendered tale of outsiders coming together.’

B&N Reads

‘Charming and uplifting.’

Press Association

About the Author

Durian Sukegawa studied oriental philosophy at Waseda University, before going on to work as a reporter in Berlin and Cambodia in the early 1990s. He has written a number of books and essays, TV programmes and films. He lives in Tokyo.

Alison Watts is a freelance translator, translating literature from Japanese into English. She lives in Ibaraki, Japan.

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6 November 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Acquired Taste
14 August 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Acquired Taste
Reviewed in the United States on 14 August 2020
Sweet bean paste is an acquired taste, but the book is not. The book, Sweet Bean Paste is about three people who have been warped by life. An old lady, a young man, and a middle school girl find each other in a shop that makes and sells dorayaki. Dorayaki is something like a crepe filled with sweet bean paste. It's a treat to the Japanese, but took awhile for me to not find it disappointing. To tell the truth, I have never liked it.

The young man who works seven days a week is the only shop employee. One day he is approached by a very old lady with twisted fingers for a job. Totally out of the question. He eventually relents because of her talent for making sweet bean paste and her accepting a low wage. He learns much more from her than how to make sweet bean paste. The middle school girl comes and goes, but she is also important to the story.

The ending is sad, but full of hope. I don't want to give anything away that might spoil it, but the little old lady came from a life I would have never guessed. I loved it.
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