The Waiting Years, a novel by Fumiko Enchi which took her eight years to write is about a wife whom decides to arrange her husband in finding his perfect mistress. The novel is 203 pages thick but it cause me almost a month to finish it which makes me conclude that this is not an easy read. You have to read every sentence carefully to notice the passing of time and the aging of the characters. Yeah, it’s a bit boring but once you’re halfway the story, it catches you’re attention and your eagerly waiting for something interesting to happen (like the title itself). If what you will find here doesn’t satisfy you, then you will hate the book. For one will find the wife’s true feelings at the end of the novel which makes me feel at first that the protagonist is incapable to feel and suffers from apathy. What I like about the novel is the author’s prose much like many other Japanese authors, with it you get to feel the rich environment, paper cranes, rich gardens, etc. I wouldn’t recommend this one to readers who just wants to read something exciting and fast-paced. But if you’re looking for something insightful and dramatic, then you might want to try this. The novel won the prestigious Noma Prize, Japan’s highest literary award for fiction.
Opening Sentence: It was an afternoon in early summer.
Last Sentence: The shock was enough to split his arrogant ego in two.