In these three tales, the narrators appear isolated from their surroundings. It's as though they view existence through a screen, giving them a sense of dislocation from reality.
As you watch their stories unfold, a sense of disquiet slowly increases, fibre by fibre the web expands drawing everything into it's centre revealing the beauty & the terror at the heart of these tales. Whether it's the teenage girl, cut off by circumstance from her family, she spends her time secretly watching her foster-brother who she's in love with.
Or in the second tale, where the younger sister keeps a diary recording every slight detail of her sister's pregnancy, with an obsession & yet a clarity that truly disturbs.
And then there's the final story- Dormitory, this tale has us heading into gothic territory. We have a young housewife, finding a place to live for her younger cousin, the place is her old dormitory run by a man with one leg & no arms.
These three tales offer a quiet horror, the cruelty is silent, the terror subtle, haunting us by the beauty of Yoko Ogawa's writing. She shows us individuals, unaware of a connection to their fellow beings, with no discernable anchor to the society they live in, the cruelty displayed is dislocated from the individuals as if they were voyeurs in their own actions, their own lives.
The territory Yoko Ogawa inhabits is close to that of Haruki Murakami, they share the same stage, but not always the same actors. It is in the way the three stories portray a mirror image of an everyday suburban existence, but the mirror is fragmented, fractured & the image distorts.