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I Hear Them Cry

by Yasmine La Salle

Staff Writer

In her debut novel, “I Hear Them Cry,” award-winning author Shiho Kishimoto explores how the pattern of violent behavior can be inherited from parent to child and how love and violence are often connected.

I Hear Them Cry, by Shiho Kishimoto
Translated by Raj Mahtani.
Amazon Crossing, Fiction.

Mayu, a young Japanese women, is living in France, helping children and others in need through a church in Paris. However, after meeting Shigeki, a rich Japanese entrepreneur who would like to sweep Mayu off her feet, her life takes a direction she did not expect. Mayu begins to want more for herself than for those around her. She soons decides to leave her simple life, marries Shigeki and moves with him back to Japan.

Mayu truly believes that the echoes of pain she once heard from the children and others she helped in Paris will finally stop when she leaves France, but to her surprise the pain around her has no end. As the people close to her continued to cry, “Help. Help. Somebody help” (a phrase used throughout to book to signal abuse), Mayu decides to pick herself up from the problems she is having with her own marriage and once again starts to fight for those around her and, on the way, learns that love will always include a little pain.

In this story of love, hate and the desire to do what is best for oneself, Kishimoto decodes the inner working of what it means to truly help someone. Though, as abuse is a continuous theme throughout the book, seeing this cycle of helplessness makes one wonder whether love can really fix anything.