Thank you to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ for organising this tour and to Miriam Drori and Crooked Cats Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings. Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now? Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up. Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this… Purchase Link – mybook.to/cultivatingafuji
I have to being by saying that this novel is not at all what I expected but it a very surprising and pleasant way. I don’t want to give away any spoilers in this review which then makes it difficult to speak about the events in the book in detail but it’s such a beautiful and thought provoking story.
You don’t have to read far into the book before you become firmly attached to it’s main protagonist Martin who is the narrator for the most part. He is such a gentle an intelligent man whose childhood and young adult experienced shape him in such a heartbreaking but poignant way. Other chapters are dedicated to the thoughts and experiences of people who have influenced Martin at various points of his journey and although there are many view points, it offers a very insightful perspective on how we all grow and change as adults. It made for some very reflective introspection.
The title itself to me personally translates as a metaphor for how the external and internal things that we encounter in life shape us. Martin is the Fuji- initially cultivated by childhood then again as an adult. I believe that as a younger person, Martin is ‘cultivated’ by these experiences and then again in later life by a set of different experiences which lead to an inner monologue and a second ‘cultivation’.
The first half of this book completely and utterly broke my heart then tenderly pieced it back together, filling it with so much joy. This is really an uplifting novel. The ending is very interesting as it’s open to interpretation and makes for a great discussion. If anyone reads the ending and wishes to have a chat please DM me on Twiter @cats_herding to have a chat.
Overall this is a beautifully written book with themes and events that will remain in my head and heart for a long time. Highly recommended.
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Author Bio – Miriam Drori
Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction. NEITHER HERE NOR THERE (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. CULTIVATING A FUJI takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story. Social Media Links – Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram, Wattpad, website/blog and social anxiety blog. Amazon page: Author.to/MiriamDroriAtAmazon