Genre: novel translated from the Japanese
Paperback, 224 pages
A sweetly scented breeze blew along Cherry Blossom Street.
Sentaro stood over a hot griddle inside the Doraharu shop, as he did all day everyday, cooking pancakes or his dorayaki. Cherry Blossom Street was a run-down commercial strip in a depressed part of town, a street more notable for empty shops than the cherry trees planted sparsely on either side. Today, however, perhaps because the flowers were in full bloom, there were more people about than usual.
Sentaro looked up to see an elderly lady in a white hat standing on the roadside, but immediately turned back to the bowl of batter he was mixing. He assumed she was looking at the billowing could of cherry blossom on the tree outside the shop.
"What kind of food do you like to eat, boss? What's the local specialty in Takasaki?"
I saw the movie based on this book on Netflix and really liked the story of a down-and-out, handicapped older woman who is given a job making dorayaki, a sweet pastry of pancakes filled with bean paste. She helps the struggling owner of the failing shop to attract buyers with her delicious recipe and cooking. But she hides a secret that will be a huge problem for her and for the shop owner, Sentaro, as time goes by.
The characters and plot are heartwarming and unexpected. A very enjoyable novel.
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