The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

I received this book as a birthday gift from my dear friend Kate. Thank you! I wish I could carve every letter of this book to my memory. I’ll try my best to remember it in the years to come, and cherish it.

*Spoiler alert*
My biggest fear is not to be able to take care of myself one day either due to an accident, or illness, or just – you know – old age. I never believed that I will have the willpower to live on when that day comes. But there is something about this book that gave me hope. I suppose life gets as good as the people you have met.
At first, I felt angered towards the sister-in-law, why she was so distant? But remembering relatives that went through a tougher life event with their beloved ones, I understood. It is not easy to see a perfectly healthy-looking body and accepting the fact that the brain is all gone. You still care about that being, but adjusting to that new normal is not easy. Also seeing the determination of that being to live as best as he/she can… That somehow makes it more difficult. Perhaps by taking in housekeepers, she was keeping all her strength for those last days. Afterall didn’t she say, it was all decided long ago and that they were just waiting for an empty bed.
Did the Professor had a say in this determination? It is difficult to judge. With a memory lasting only 80 minutes can one decide to live or die? I imagine it was possible and the Professor chose to live, otherwise why make all those notes?
The attachment of the Housekeeper and Root to the good side of the Professor… It is a must have trait for everyone. Since they haven’t met with the Professor before the accident, it must have been easier for them to accept this new normal unlike the sister-in-law. However, it is still not easy to live happily, yet, they managed to accumulate many happy memories. Perhaps if the Professor had a more hostile personality it wouldn’t have been possible.


Genre: contemporary, fiction, Psychological

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