Harmless Like You

Harmless Like You

Book - 2016
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Set across New York, Berlin and Connecticut, this novel follows the stories of Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and Yuki's son Jay who, as an adult in the present day, is forced to confront his mother who abandoned him when he was only two years old. An unforgettable novel about the complexities of identity, art, adolescent friendships and familial bonds, offering a unique exploration of love, loneliness and reconciliation.
Publisher: London : Sceptre, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton, An Hachette UK company, 2016
ISBN: 9781473638327
1473638321
9781473638334
147363833X
9781473638341
9781473638358
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 23 cm

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Abandoned by his mother, Mimi, as a child, Jay must meet with her many years later to discuss his father’s will. For most of his life, Jay feared that Mimi’s abandonment would set a pattern and cause him to create unstable relationships. After an uncomfortable meeting, Jay learns Mimi's backstory... Read More »

If you enjoyed The Couple Next Door, try this novel about a young man whose mother abandoned the family when he was two. Gradually learning the circumstances of his mother's life leads to mutual sympathy and understanding for the two characters.


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JCLCherylMY May 02, 2017

This was a difficult novel for me because I never warmed to the two main characters, Yuki, the mother, and Jay, her son. I did like how the novel switched between the past and present, from Yuki's youth and choices, to Jay's present. Peppered with youth's folly, this novel begs the question: how does a mother leave her son? And answers: can a son forgive the abandonment? I plan to revisit the novel, maybe in audio form. Perhaps this will give me a better perspective in which to relate or draw a thread. Voices evoke empathy and can, sometimes, awaken locked memories. I will report back.

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