If You Follow Me

If You Follow Me

by Malena Watrous
3.8 13

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If You Follow Me 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
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Tweetamoment More than 1 year ago
Cultural gaps, family tragedies, friendship and love are all brought together by Malena Watrous in a clear and entertaining way that won't let you put the book down. For those who have lived in Japan, you will relate to the cultural hurdles that you may have experienced, and will enjoy accompanying Marina along her path of personal growth and grief. You will have fun at Marina's and her girlfriend's daily struggles with trash disposal,nothing less than a symbol of the huge differences between western and eastern culture. The description and personality of the characters, as well as of the locations are so credible that it's impossible not to get involved with the story right from the beginning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enormously enjoyed reading Malena Watrous's book reviews online and in the NY Times Book Review and SF Chronicle - mainly because she has such an acid wit. But, nothing prepared me for IF YOU FOLLOW ME. I was hooked from the first page and stayed up most of the night reading the book, then took a long lunch hour the next day to finish it. I couldn't sleep, couldn't work, couldn't think until I rejoined Marina in her small Japanese community to follow her adventures navigating the Japanese culture and her own grief. 5 stars is too few!
harstan More than 1 year ago
American girlfriends Marina and Carolyn move to Shika, Japan to teach English to Japanese students. Although in Japan struggling to understand trash collection methods, the two female Yanks also have a hard time learning the native language. Still they teach in the same classroom with Hiroshi the translator assisting them. The pair squabbles at times over what seems afterward mostly inane like what to do with the garbage while reflecting how they met at a grief support group. In fact Marina went on this trip so she could find some closure and move beyond her father's death. As Marina turns to Hiroshi as a friend and to her students as a mental escape, Carolyn withdraws from her, the students and their translator. Ironically while Carolyn grieves deeper for her loss, Marina feels her father's encouraging presence pleading with her to live life to the fullest. If You Follow Me is a wonderful character driven tale of two Americans in Japan reacting to the culture shock in dramatically opposite directions. Marina and Carolyn are fully developed protagonists with the former embracing the country and the latter retreating from the country. The comparisons between the two Americans refresh an often told tale of an individual coping with a dramatic change in lifestyle (see Love In Translation by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga). Harriet Klausner