Let me begin by telling you that I enjoyed ‘The Sound of Waves’ so much that when I finished it last night, I went back to the start and read it again.
‘The Sound of Waves’ tell the story of Shinji Kubo, a eighteen year old fisherman who lives on Uta~Jima island which means ‘Song Island’ with his widowed mother and his younger brother. Shinji is very quiet and hardworking, he works hard on the ship, ‘Taihei~maru’ with his master, Jukichi and Ryuji, a fellow fisherman.
Shinji falls in love with Hatsue Miyata, the only daughter of Old Uncle Teru, the wealthiest man in Uta~Jima, Hatsue has returned from Oizaki in Shima after training to be a pearl diver, ‘a diving woman’ and she works alongside Shinji’s mother who is a diving woman. The return of Hatsue is the talk of the villagers, everyone wants to know who will Hatsue married, the obvious choice seems to be Yasuo Kawamoto, the son of one of the leading families in the village but Hatsue falls in love with Shinju, soon they become the talk of the village and Shinkju must prove his worth.
‘The Sound of Waves’ is a story of first love but it is also a story about tradition, life, love, family and what you can do if you want something enough. Shinji is a mature eighteen year old but as the story continues, you see him changing, discovering his love for Hatsue. Shinji and Hatsue are both lovely characters, you want them to be together so much, you feel every disappointment they experience. I also like Jukichi, Shinji ship master, who was a father figure to Shinji and despite his way of saying things, he always knows the right thing to say.
I loved the way Yukio Mishima describes the village, the traditions, it was all written perfectly, Yukio Mishima was a strong traditionalist and it shows in the book.
A truly lovely read.
Reviewed by: Gyre (Paula)