An intriguing, understated, and beautiful narrative of a Japanese Buddhist monk who has to travel to a remote fishing village on a task of love and duty, and a young woman who is returning to the village of her birth
A novel of desire, duty, and secrets follows the journey of a Buddhist monk who leaves the safe predictability of his mountain monastery and ventures into the world to carry out a fellow monk's dying request. When he encounters abalone diving women in a remote coastal village he is torn between dedication to his task and surrender to desire. While the monk skirts around the edges of the sea womens' community, at its heart is Chicken, a young diver witnessing the extinction of a way of life that has been her family's for generations. If only her sister Lilli would return, perhaps somehow that would bring renewal. But the past and its secrets weigh heavily on Lilli, and she had her own reasons for disappearing all those years ago. Each of these characters is locked in their own isolation, yet their stories are connected in deep and sometimes surprising ways. A beautifully observed, lucid, and evocative novel, this is an utterly captivating story of love, family, and change.