Have you ever had a lucky coin? Or a lucky anything? Do you remember how you came upon it? Some people have things they put meaning to because they want to embed it with something powerful, a memory, a feeling, a promise even... then there are things we find that for some reason impact our lives or change them forever... that’s the origin of Ten Yen True, a wonderful story of how close we are to connect with other people and how little is required to establish that connection.
You see, it’s not every day I read something that when I finish it I have a hum in my diaphragm and a knot in my throat. It’s not every day I read or listen to something and think about life in a deep cosmos-engrossing sort of way either. But lo and behold, last week, I finished Ten Yen True while sitting at a cafeteria and realized how small I am and how connected I am to the world.
This book is a story of people who aren’t connected who suddenly do connect due to life (and death). It explores how deep we can create bonds out of nothing and how love can blossom from the weirdest of places. In other words, Amanda Armstrong and Christina St. Clair have done a marvelous miracle within 304 pages: they made me care about characters to the point where I found myself writing the names in text messages and notes in my job.
There are characters you can't help but love and other's you'd just love to help (some you really get to hate even). Having had my father go through a battle with cancer, this book does touch some very vivid memories and old scars who have luckily had the chance to heal... although they still tingle with the memory of the experiences me and my family shared and I’m sure it can connect with other people who have lived through something like this.
That being said, TYT has some truly beautiful moments that chimed deep in my gut and brought out a smile because I got it... even if the authors intended something else, I understood for what it means to me and I loved every minute of that feeling.
A definite highlight of my reading year so far, Ten Yen True is a story that I can best compare to the movie Crash or the animated comic series, Broken Saints. You love, you hate, you cringe and sure... you cry. You also live and this book is a wonderful reminder to do just that and allow yourself to connect to others.
Feel free to get yourself a copy... and maybe see if you can find a ten yen coin to keep nearby.
Peace, love and maki rolls.