Loose Ends In Yokohama

A STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION TO MAKE PEACE WITH HIS PAST

Fiction - Drama
244 Pages
Reviewed on 09/08/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Loose Ends In Yokohama: A story of a man on a mission to make peace with his past is a work of fiction in the slice of life, interpersonal and introspective drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Alex Lund. Taking an authentic exploration of the titular location’s nightlife district, this fascinating tale features protagonist Ron Jackson, who has built his life up from tragedy to success with a series of bars and restaurants. But when Ron gets some life-shattering news, his idea of peaceful retirement suddenly becomes a single-minded mission to reconnect with his past and reconcile with those shadows which haunt him before it’s too late.

Author Alex Lund has crafted another beautifully emotive work of fiction set in his native Japan, and one which combines character and atmosphere to deliver an emotional powerhouse of a story. Having read Lund’s work before, I was prepared for the detailed and authentic depiction of Japanese life and culture, and it was really exciting to see the bright lights of Yokohama through his elegant prose. Ron Jackson was a well-formed protagonist who is not necessarily super likable at first, and that played well into my investment in his journey and the twists, discoveries, and bittersweet moments that happen to him along the way in the plot. I found the dialogue of this novel to be its most compelling feature, setting out some frank conversations that will strike a chord with those who really relate. Overall, I would certainly recommend Loose Ends In Yokohama as an engaging and accomplished work of drama.

Jon Michael Miller

Yes, Ron Jackson, bar owner and restaurateur in Yokohama and the first-person narrator of Loose Ends In Yokohama, has some loose ends to tie up. The process not only of making amends but exacting revenge toward the end of one’s life is known as shuukatsu. As the novel opens, Ron finds himself on the receiving end of this ritual when an old friend comes into Ron’s bar offering him amends in the form of an ancient and valuable samurai sword as a thank-you for past friendship. The gift inspires Ron to review his own life, and thus begins the tale. He has a few things to resolve in his past, and we follow the process from beginning to end, becoming familiar with the streets of Yokohama, Japan in the process—a family he has wronged, a love he has betrayed, and a bully who has humiliated him more than once. One by one, we watch him clean the slate of what he owes and what is owed to him.

Loose Ends In Yokohama is a very good book, not only for author Alex Lund’s impeccable prose but for the goodness that emanates from its pages. It’s an odyssey that reminded me of my own debts and of my own scores yet to be avenged. It also familiarized me with the city of Yokohama, its streets, parks, dives, and inhabitants. Ron is the proverbial good guy, aging and having done some nasties as well as having been victimized. Sounds like all of us, doesn’t it? Yes, wouldn’t it be nice to tie it all up with a tidy bow before we depart for other realms? I enjoyed getting to know Ron Jackson, half American, half Japanese, as through the process of shuukatsu he resolves the mysteries of his life. I’m sure you will enjoy it too.

Soumya Sreehari

Ron Jackson is a successful bar and restaurant owner in Yokohama. He owns a flourishing business and it seems to be running like a well-oiled machine. As he looks forward to retiring, a blast from the past confronts him. In Loose Ends in Yokohama, Alex Lund digs into the essence of life through Ron Jackson’s eyes. Ron is shaken out of his comfortable life and compelled to reflect on everything around him. He takes a fresh look at the person who matters the most to him. He also confronts unresolved issues from his past that were long overdue. As he goes through the process of shuukatsu, he rediscovers himself and puts his internal demons to rest. What follows is a story of compassion towards oneself and others.

I was fascinated by the concept of shuukatsu explored so beautifully by Alex Lund in Loose Ends in Yokohama. I took away the lesson that one need not wait for the end of life to engage in shuukatsu. Ron’s journey of re-examining his life was an eye-opener. Even as the story delves into deep introspection, the narrative flowed like a serene stream of water. Every character evoked a sense of warmth in me. Ron with his feelings of suppressed love and anger is so relatable with his fallibility. It is never too late to make amends for past mistakes. Carrying bitterness and resentment only hurts and does not heal. At the end of the story, I was left with a deep sense of gratitude for my life’s blessings.