Like most of you I'm an avid reader. I'm hoping to re-connect with old friends, make new friends, and of course spread the love of reading and writing around to everyone!
The Professor, a brilliant mathematician (who is unnamed), only has eighty minutes of short term memory, due to a traumatic head injury.
The Housekeeper assigned to the Professor (also unnamed), is young, astute, and has a ten year old son (nicknamed Root).
Each morning, as the Professor and Housekeeper are re-introduced to eachother, an unlikely friendship starts to bloom between them, as well as, between the Professor and Root.
From here the story unfolds in a very ordinary/extraordinary way. The Professor gives the Housekeeper and Root the only gift he knows how to give, the poetry of mathematics, and in return they give the Professor love.
Baseball is the common thread that connects the two stories, but these moments are written in such exceptional prose, it all flows together wonderfully.
All in all, a deceptively short book that pitches an emotional response. I will be reading more by Yoko Ogawa in the future. I leave you with my favorite quote:
"Among the many things that made the Professor an excellent teacher was the fact that he wasn't afraid to say: 'we don't know.' For the Professor, there was no shame in admitting you didn't have the answer, it was a necessary step toward the truth. It was as important to teach us about the unknown or the unknowable as it was to teach us what had already been safely proven."