Hiroko Oyamada’s novel “The Hole” is a complex story dressed in an easy-going style.

Asahi’s husband, Muneaki, is transferred to a branch office not far from his childhood home in rural Japan. His parents have two houses on their plot, one of which they offer to the couple rent-free. Asahi gives up her office job, says goodbye to her friends and becomes a housewife. With no children, no car and a spouse who rarely makes appearances throughout the story, her days are largely empty and listless.

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