Ms Ice Sandwich (Japan)

Book #15

Ms Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Louise Heal Kawai

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Ms Ice Sandwich is one of the shortest, sweetest books. Narrated by a young boy who becomes captivated by the woman who manages the sandwich station at his local grocery store, he finds so much wonder in her mystery.

This is a boy living in a women’s world. His exposure to people oscillates between his fortune teller mom, his silent grandmother, a new friend at school who loves American action films, and Ms Ice Sandwich.

He could be a boy stuck in his head forever until his friend finds out about his obsession with Ms Ice Sandwich and prompts him to act on his adoration. It almost comes too late as he’s forced to say goodbye to her and reckon with the idea of loss in a number of ways.

Kawakami tells a witty and touching story about how a young persons sometimes needs a little nudge to learn how to grow up.

This little book was a fun way to be transported back to Japan and the intricacies in its culture, meals, and yes - even its grocery stores.