Review of the Housekeeper and the Professor

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Y?ko Ogawa

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that demanded an immediate review. It’s my first Ogawa and I am definitely sure not my last. I am looking at her latest: Revenge – for something completely different from this one.

The Housekeeper and the Professor can only be described as a treat and a privileged gift. Written from the perspective of the unnamed housekeeper, this deeply evocative and endearing tale of the relationship that develops between the housekeeper, the professor she is hired to look after, and her son. One of the aspects that makes the tale unique is that the professor has suffered severe memory damage and any memories after the accident reset every 80 minutes. His intellectual faculties have not been affected, but the 80 minutes gradually reveal much more about the Professor’s nature as the book unfolds. I will not speak more to the plot itself.

The beauty of numbers and mathematical relationships are connected to everyday life in a clever, but deeply moving way, and through this, we are invited into the relationship that develops between these three in a way that transcends the 80-minute rule.

A book that makes you think and also feel – absolutely beautiful.

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