Kokoro by Natsume Soseki

Book Review Red and Black

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I finished this one in the middle of the night last night because it was due today and I was determined to finish.

Honestly, I’m still processing.

At the center of the book is a student and the man he calls Sensei. This book is also about family and friendship plus it is about the transition from the Japan of Sensei’s youth to modern Japan.

This is a character driven story. At first the student is the narrator so we get what he’s thinking and feeling and how he perceives others. Then Sensei is the narrator and his section mostly focuses on his past because he is attempting to explain why he is the way he is.

After I finished I realized that Sensei has depression but it wasn’t until I got his perspective that I understood.

That’s also why I cautiously give a trigger warning. The word “depression” may not be used but Sensei feels the symptoms. Suicide is also a prominent part of this book.

Overall, I found this book compelling. As soon as I met the characters in the first chapter I wanted to know more about them and what their lives were like during the late 1800’s through early 1900’s in Japan.

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