Sayonara, dream-eater is a bittersweet coming of age story about the sorrows and joys of letting go, and a reminder that help often comes in unexpected, unseen forms. In this her third novel, Ethne Ashizawa explores female adolescence and sexuality, a mother-daughter relationship, and friendship amidst the contrast between the ultra modernity of Japan and its ancient culture and traditions. More
The teenager Aya is growing up fast in Tokyo. Will she survive? Will her family understand and forgive? Sayonara, Dream-Eater takes a fast journey through the ups and downs of adolescence in a metropol. We are launched into the relationship between the 17-year-old Aya and her mother Masako that has come under pressure and strain within the ultra-modern city that is Tokyo. Aya breaks away and, alone, she wades through her own conflict-riddled choices, the meaning of love, and what it means to grow up fast in a modern world that demands so much for so little in return. Set in modern day Japan, one year before and just after the Hanshin- Awaji earthquake in the Kobe area of Japan, it reflects the social tremours that occur in Aya’s own life. Vivid modern Tokyo scenes tantalise the reader; and, Aya’s own colourful imagination and mystic leanings add to the quirky, unusual flavour that we’ve come to know and appreciate from Japanese culture and society. Ultimately, this bittersweet coming of age story is about the fears and joys of letting go, and a reminder that help often comes in unexpected, and sometimes unseen forms. In this her third novel, Ethne Ashizawa explores the difficult subject of teenage suicide/bullying, mother- daughter relationship, developing independence and friendships amidst the contrast between the ultra modernity of Japan and its ancient culture and traditions.