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Silk - Alessandro Baricco You might like to listen to Yoshida Brothers' Fuyu No Sakura (Cherry Blossoms in Winter) whilst reading this story resembling a haiku:

This is such a small book, yet it tells much more through its words. You have to read this in one setting, uninterrupted, in order to get the full experience. I've made the mistake of beginning it on my way to work, then finish it on the following day.

Silk is not the typical book: there isn't engaging action, concise dialogue and proper character development, but there is a plot and there is a meaning, although the latter does not lay in the open. Some things are not said, but implied, weaving a web of mystery and concealed beauty that will leave the reader wanting more.

In a poetic and cryptic manner, Silk displays small pieces from the life of Hervé Joncour, a French silkworm merchant in the 1860s - his long and repetitive journeys to Japan and his encounter with a woman that will change his otherwise ordinary life. Hervé experiences a tantalizing longing that compels him to return to Japan, again and again, in search of the elusive love that has become the purpose of his life.

A thousand times he searched for her eyes and a thousand times she met his gaze. It was a sort of joyless dance, concealed and sterile. Hervé Joncour danced it until late at night, then he got up and went away. (such a coward, you might say!)

I won't say anything more about what is happening, because I would spoil the story, short as it already is. Anyway, Silk is a different kind of experience and it's worth reading it.