A Separation by Katie Kitamura [in Library Journal]
Although separated from philandering husband Christopher for six months, a London woman agrees to continue to postpone “the process…of telling people.” Almost a month has passed since she last talked to Christopher, rendering her unable to answer his mother Isabella’s unexpected request for his whereabouts.
She travels to Greece at Isabella’s insistence, arriving at the hotel where her errant spouse has a room, only to learn he’s traveling. Her wait for his return amid strangers who have known him more recently, more intimately, has shocking results. Between an anniversary-celebrating couple flaunting their passion to an elderly woman who is a rare professional funereal “weeper,” the woman confronts the disintegration of love: “perhaps wife and husband and marriage itself are only words that conceal much more unstable realities, more turbulent than can be contained in a handful of syllables, or any amount of writing.”
Like her two previous novels (The Longshot, Gone to the Forest), Katie Kitamura’s latest is another tautly austere, intensely internal narrative, both adroitly lyrical and jarring. For readers seeking profound examinations of challenging relationships – think Pamela Erens’s Eleven Hours, Jung Yun’s Shelter, Ha Jin’s Waiting — Kitamura’s oeuvre will be a compelling discovery.