BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Miracles of the Namiya General Store by Keigo Higashino, translated by Sam Bett [in Booklist]

Best known for his brainy death-and-destruction mystery series featuring Detective Galileo and Detective Kaga, who have successfully arrived Stateside from Japan, Keigo Higashino reveals a softer side to his prolific imagination here.

The Namiya General Store has been closed for decades, but three delinquent young men break in seeking shelter. They might be tired and hungry, but they’re not dreaming when they discover that the store’s mail slot continues to clink with epistolary deliveries. What they’ll deduce from reading a 40-year-old magazine is that this was “The General Store That Answers Your Woes”: back in the day, strangers seeking advice dropped missives in the front and picked up thoughtful replies the next morning in the milk crate out back.

Miraculously, new letters arrive overnight, impelling the delinquents to answer. An Olympic hopeful, a struggling musician, the store owner and his son, a teenage runaway, and an ambitious orphan will all somehow be interconnected and instrumental in changing lives past and present, saving lost souls, and even rescuing themselves. This international best-seller smoothly anglophoned by award-winning Sam Bett is quite the timely charmer.

YA/Mature Readers: Mature readers will undoubtedly find resonance with this vast cast that includes teens and young adults.

Review: “Fiction,” Booklist, October 15, 2019

Published: 2012 (Japan), 2019 (United States)

Readers: Young Adult, Adult


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