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  • Writer's pictureMonika Satote

Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami

The choices we make shape our lives, in many ways. The things we wished for, give us hope and courage to achieve those. I think the risks that we take while making choices or the hopes that we keep while wishing for certain things work like affirmations. What do you think?


"No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves. That's all."
Haruki Murakami, Birthday Girl 

A waitress in Tokyo celebrates her twentieth birthday working. ‘Celebrates’ is the wrong word here actually. Her twentieth birthday is very monotonous. Nothing special. While working, her manager asks her to deliver the food to the restaurant owner who is quite an old man. She does as instructed. When she meets him, her not-so-happy birthday takes a totally strange turn, call it life-changing.

I loved the interesting characters, especially the restaurant owner. The conversations are unusual. The plot is simple. As always, Murakami leaves this book open-ended, giving readers the choice to end the book the way they want. But I feel, for this particular book, it was easy to guess the end, or what must have happened. Other Murakami books surely left me uncomfortable, but this didn’t.Tbh, I love Murakami for the unsaid parts. This was my fourth book by him and now I am kind of used to the 'mind-blowing-factor' he brings through his work. This was an extremely short book with not so 'wow' elements and didn’t make an impression as good as other Murakami books. Still, I sort of liked it for the oddly satisfying storyline.


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