Norwegian Wood // Haruki Murakami
Love is synonymous with beauty, and nothing captures such beauty as well Haruki Murkamai’s Norwegian Wood. In a novel that explores the darker and more obsessive side of love, the sheer heartache, delicacy and beauty of the novel can’t help but sweep you off your feet.
Norwegian Wood follows Toru Watanabe following the suicide of his best friend. Kizuki’s suicide impacts all that knew him heavily, and Toru and Kizuki’s bereaved girlfriend, Naoko, try to find solace in silent walks across the Japanese countryside. Unsurprisingly, Toru falls passionately in love with Naoko, but things are complicated after she is forced into a mental rehabilitation centre and Toru finds a blossoming friendship in Midori, a pixie-haired girl from his university. However, don’t expect this to be like any love story that you’ve read before. If you have a fascination with death, sex, and The Beatles’ classic ‘Norwegian Wood,’ then this book is a must read.
The novel captures the complications of love and, in doing so, highlights how we are always at the mercy of love; to try to have power over love would be futile. Combining humour and heartache, ‘Norwegian Wood’ is novel perfect for anyone who has recently experienced an all-encompassing, soul-devouring love to even a heartache. Or for anyone who enjoys bloody good literature, for that matter.
Words by Juliette Rowsell