You were given a list of characters in the front of the book, and that will be helpful in keeping the characters straight, especially since this book starts fast and doesn't let up for over 400 pages. Rei is harassed on the train bringing her to the minshuku in Shiroyama for a New Year's vacation; she is embarrassed in the bath area by one of the other guests, Hugh Glendenning; and she is insulted by yet another guest, Kenji Yamamoto, a junior salaryman [executive]. Rei is befriended, though, by two very different women: Marcelle Chapman, an American tourist, and Yuki Ikeda, the wife of Taro Ikeda who has an interesting hobby--"ancient crime." In a bizarre twist, Setsuko Nakamura, the title character--the salaryman's wife--is murdered by page 37, and the police seem to be implying that Rei had something to do with this! What a great way to start the New Year! Sujata Massey has done a masterful job of setting the scene and introducing the characters to you, so for this week, I am asking you to respond to the opening chapters.
WHO is your least favorite character so far?
WHY is this character your least favorite?
WHAT do you think of Taro Ikeda's odd hobby?
WHEN Setsuko was murdered, WHERE was each character--do you think they are all accounted for? Do you have an idea already of who might have murdered the salaryman's wife?
WHAT makes you suspicious of this person?
HOW do you think Rei's relationship with all of these characters will play out as the novel continues?
Try to get through at least the first ten chapters by Saturday night, or we will be doing "spoiler alerts" all week next week!
Teacher Barb :)