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A Cappella

by Hanna Lange

Staff Writer

“A Cappella” is the second novel by award-winning Japanese author Mariko Koike to be translated into English. Often referred to as part of her “love trilogy,” the story deals with a young girl’s intense, heartbreaking love and the tragedy it gives rise to.

A Cappella, by Mariko Koike, Anthem Press, Rating: ★★★

Set mainly in the second half of the 1960s, the tale opens up in the late ’80s with the adult protagonist, Kyoko Noma, visiting the city of Sendai, where she reflects on her past and events that occurred in the city where she lived 20 years ago.

At 17, Kyoko was a rebellious high-school student living with her aunt, away from her parents, and taking part in the counterculture movement that was sweeping Japan. Her life then changes forever when she wanders into a cafe called ‘A Cappella’ and meets a man named Wataru.