From the best-selling author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog comes a story about a woman's journey to discover the father she never knew and a love she never thought possible.
Rose has just turned forty when she gets a call from a lawyer asking her to come to Kyoto for the reading of her estranged father’s will. And so for the first time in her life she finds herself in Japan, where Paul, her father’s assistant, is waiting to greet her.
As Paul guides Rose along a mysterious itinerary designed by her deceased father, her bitterness and anger are soothed by the stones and the trees in the Zen gardens they move through. During their walks, Rose encounters acquaintances of her father—including a potter and poet, an old lady friend, his housekeeper and chauffeur—whose interactions help her to slowly begin to accept a part of herself that she has never before acknowledged.
As the reading of the will gets closer, Rose’s father finally, posthumously, opens his heart to his daughter, offering her a poignant understanding of his love and a way to accept all she has lost.
Muriel Barbery is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa, 2008), Gourmet Rhapsody (Europa, 2009), The Life of Elves (Europa, 2016), and A Strange Country (Europa, 2020). She has lived in Kyoto, Amsterdam, and Paris, and now lives in the French countryside.