Growing up in the suburbs in post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present. 'A story of love in a cool climate, intensely romantic and weepily is startlingly different: a true original' Guardian 'Casablanca remade Japanese style...It is dream-like writing, laden with scenes which have the radiance of a poem' The Times 'This wise and beautiful book is full of hidden truths' New York Times 'This book eloquent treatise on the vertiginous, irrational powers of love and desire' Independent on Sunday 'A beautiful, atmospheric novel sustained by Murakami's flair for philosophical mediation at its most human' Irish Times