Hey lovelies! Today, I’m on the blog tour for What’s Left of Me is Yours by Stephanie Scott! Have a look below to see what I thought of this one 🙂
In Japan, a covert industry has grown up around the “wakaresaseya” (literally “breaker-upper”), a person hired by one spouse to seduce the other in order to gain the advantage in divorce proceedings. When Satō hires Kaitarō, a wakaresaseya agent, to have an affair with his wife, Rina, he assumes it will be an easy case. But Satō has never truly understood Rina or her desires and Kaitarō’s job is to do exactly that–until he does it too well. While Rina remains ignorant of the circumstances that brought them together, she and Kaitarō fall in a desperate, singular love, setting in motion a series of violent acts that will forever haunt her daughter’s life.
Told from alternating points of view and across the breathtaking landscapes of Japan, Stephanie Scott exquisitely renders the affair and its intricate repercussions. As Rina’s daughter, Sumiko, fills in the gaps of her mother’s story and her own memory, Scott probes the thorny psychological and moral grounds of the actions we take in the name of love, asking where we draw the line between passion and possession.
This was an assured debut that I enjoyed reading. The story is a mix of a romance and a mystery, focusing on a subject that I have never read about before – the marriage breakup industry. Apparently, it was based on a real-life trial which is SO fascinating! It did have an almost true-crime vibe to it, which I really liked.
I loved how Scott executed her story. The past and present were spliced together and we were given a look into various character’s perspectives. I particularly enjoyed the chapters written in Sumiko’s voice; it felt like I was hearing a story told by an old friend and I couldn’t help feeling every emotion right along with her.
One of my favourite aspects of this novel was the setting. I felt transported to the vibrant city of Tokyo, as well as the more rural parts of Japan. Scott really captured the setting well and I could picture even the tiniest details. She also treated us to some great foodie descriptions – and you know how much I love those!
I also connected with the story as a result of all the photography talk. Seeing one of my own hobbies depicted so passionately was simply lovely and added an extra level to the book for me personally. And I have to say, the part of the book where the title makes sense was beautifully done as well.
I will admit that I was expecting a twist of some sort towards the end which I didn’t get, but that’s no fault of the author! It was my own brain running away with itself haha. And I did appreciate the way she brought everything full circle. She held my attention from start to finish, which I’m so grateful for in the current climate.
If you’re interested and would like to purchase a copy of this one, the hardback is available via Waterstones.com here or Blackwell’s here. And since physical books aren’t as easy to get hold of at the moment, you can also purchase the eBook (£9.99) here or the audiobook (£19.99) here. (These are not affiliate links, the publisher just asked that we spread the word about how you can get your hands on this one!)
To see what other readers think of this one, check out the other stops on the blog tour!
Sending love and strength to everyone right now! I’m here if anyone wants to chat x