The Lake - Banana Yoshimoto Warning: Do not read the Goodreads description. Too much info big-time! I will not indulge in any spoilers.

There's something about Banana Yoshimoto. Her prose is as light as a feather yet the emotions behind them are deep and profound. The casualness of her writing can be deceiving. That, her simplicity of style, and her immense popularity are probable reasons why an unnamed Nobel committee member, when asked if Yoshimoto had a chance at the Nobel prize for Literature, replied, "She's dreaming."

But I find her work quite moving. The Lake is an excellent example of this, maybe not as good as [b:Kitchen|50144|Kitchen|Banana Yoshimoto||1543818], but close. The plot centers around a woman who is mourning the death of her mother but, at the same time, starting a friendship with a quiet and somewhat timid man. It is not a spoiler to say he has a secret but Banana makes the journey to the resolution a study in understatement and subtlety. The author's main recurring theme is quite apparent here; how young people are affected by the trauma in their life. It's a beautiful story that is haunting and perhaps a little more intense than most of her works. This or Kitchen would be perfect ways to introduce yourself to Banana-mania.

And Yes, Banana. Keep dreaming of that Nobel Prize. Someday you may surprise everyone.