I’ve had Be With You by Takuji Ichikawa on my wishlist for awhile, having found it on Amazon and thinking it seemed interesting at the time. I’m not sure what caught my eye, but it didn’t really meet my expectations.
We meet Takumi Aio, a young man in his late 20s and single father to 6-year-old Yuji. They’re both still adjusting to the death of Mio, Takumi’s wife and Yuji’s mother, although they don’t realize just how poorly they’ve adjusted. This changes when they go for a walk and see a woman who looks awfully like Mio, just a bit younger and appearing to have lost her memory.
The writing style is fairly simple and straightforward, which I liked, but the story started to drag a bit for me, as Takumi starts describing how he and Mio met. He goes all the way back to their school days, and it crawled along slowly after that, to get to the present day. I just didn’t feel like I cared as much about this lengthy history as I did about what was happening, though it did loop back eventually.
There’s a bit of vaguely supernatural tone to the story, which is ok, but I just didn’t feel attached to the story after the first few chapters. Apparently, this book was so popular in Japan that it was followed up by a manga version and later made into a TV series. Just not my thing, I guess.