Yoko Ogawa’s Hotel Iris is an irrepressible tale. A soulful tale about sinful lust, if there was ever one. It is the story of a middle aged man and a 17 year old girl, a story of love? Maybe. We can never be too sure of love. A remarkable story? Certainly. You can only brave a fearless story, there are no two ways about it. While the characters explore a cavern of dark intimacy, we read about the realms where two individuals can go, the farthest and yet come back from it every time to visit again. What we really see is an attentive detail of a girl growing into a woman, a lonely man fidgeting for release and a tale of this secluded travel. Looking into the heart of this rather uncommon tale is how we share their closeted rendezvous. I have to admit that Yoko Ogawa retained every fibre of the intricacy this book should have possibly had.
This book is about the nuances of violent love, its limits and incorrigible way it fine-tunes its way into lives. Can love and violence connect without corrosion? Now, that is a question that will be posed at the end of the journey of this challenging book. Be fearless when you answer it.