Dispel Melancholy Grocery Store

Well the name doesn’t translate very well (Amazon books uses this translation as well), but I just finished reading this book. It the second full length novel I have read in Chinese. The Chinese name is 忧确杂货店, and actually it was written by Keigo Higashino, a Japanese mystery writer, and then it was translated into Chinese. So the story takes place in Japan.

The premise is there is a little grocery where people drop notes under a roll-up shop door asking for advice, and then the next day, they get an answer in the mail box. The man answering the notes is aging, and when he is gone, some vagrants break into the grocery, and they start receiving and answering the notes. They realize many notes are from the past, and timeline begins to transpire where they are giving advice to people from the past, but then the time passes quickly, and they see the results of their advice unfold in a short time (ex. advising someone to invest in the internet, and then that person becomes rich).

Overall, I liked the story, but at times I definitely had to push myself to keep going, as there were many words that I had to look up. I would sit there with my phone, and draw words I didn’t know, which I can do almost without looking now. My vocabulary seems to be somewhere around 2300 characters now, and I probably need another 1000 to stop needing to look up words. I look forward to that day! 🙂

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