I really enjoyed this short novel set in Japan (I’m reading some Japanese fiction because I’m visiting my son in Tokyo in May).
Keiko, the main character is 36 and has worked in a convenience store since she was a student. She is clearly quite firmly on the autism spectrum and her whole life she has been pressured by her family and peers to change herself to fit in with their idea of what ‘normal’ should be. In Japanese culture (and perhaps everywhere, to a degree) to not fit in with the ideals of either progressing in a prestigious career, or becoming a wife and mother is seen as failure, and is shameful and embarrassing for everyone.
Keiko tries to conform to what others want from her, but the truth is she really loves working in the convenience store, and she is really diligent and good at it.
I felt for her, and I felt cross at her family for not just supporting her for who and what she is.