I enjoyed this book for the descriptive writing and the evocation of place that the author created. I particularly liked the night scene where the narrator, Mizoguchi, follows Uiko. The passage where he walks to the Sea of Japan from Maizuru was also very well done.However... I did not really understand Mizoguchi's motivation in just about anything that he did and found him a completely unsympathetic character. The resolution of the final crisis has left me unmoved and glad that I've finished so that I can move on to something else. Which isn't to say that this is a bad book, just one that I didn't entirely connect with.As an aside, the blurb on this edition is not correct as Mizoguchi's stammer was congenital and had already affected him before he witnessed his mother with another man.