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In the tradition of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, here is a new classic about the bride who's no longer sure what to think. All families have their own rituals, secrets, and credos, like a miniature religious cult; these quirks may elicit the mirth or mild alarm of guests, but the matter is rather more serious if you're marrying into a househ In the tradition of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, here is a new classic about the bride who's no longer sure what to think. All families have their own rituals, secrets, and credos, like a miniature religious cult; these quirks may elicit the mirth or mild alarm of guests, but the matter is rather more serious if you're marrying into a household. If its's a Japanese one with a history, the brace yourself: some surprising truths lurk around the corner.


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In the tradition of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, here is a new classic about the bride who's no longer sure what to think. All families have their own rituals, secrets, and credos, like a miniature religious cult; these quirks may elicit the mirth or mild alarm of guests, but the matter is rather more serious if you're marrying into a househ In the tradition of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, here is a new classic about the bride who's no longer sure what to think. All families have their own rituals, secrets, and credos, like a miniature religious cult; these quirks may elicit the mirth or mild alarm of guests, but the matter is rather more serious if you're marrying into a household. If its's a Japanese one with a history, the brace yourself: some surprising truths lurk around the corner.

30 review for Now You're One of Us

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    and now i know there is such thing as japanese gothic! i knew japanese horror, but this is more specific: it's got all the crumbling mansions and sexual taboos and whispered midnight conversations of my preferred irish gothic, only farther away. and it's not bad. the back copy said it was like rebecca meets rosemary's baby, and dana said she didn't understand what that could mean, but after reading it, i do. it's not inaccurate. and now i know something dana doesn't know. so that's two things le and now i know there is such thing as japanese gothic! i knew japanese horror, but this is more specific: it's got all the crumbling mansions and sexual taboos and whispered midnight conversations of my preferred irish gothic, only farther away. and it's not bad. the back copy said it was like rebecca meets rosemary's baby, and dana said she didn't understand what that could mean, but after reading it, i do. it's not inaccurate. and now i know something dana doesn't know. so that's two things learned. not a bad day... come to my blog!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mariah

    No guts, no glory! After a long, frustrating crawl toward the denouement and climax of the novel, the characters fail to deliver any truly chilling, compelling, titillating or otherwise moving material. Noriko, the heroine of this story, is constantly feeling faint, sweating profusely due to her "nerves," weeping or insufferably blurting out her suspicions to the bad guys with no hope of taking action. I found myself begging her to do something interesting, or at least spy effectively on her cre No guts, no glory! After a long, frustrating crawl toward the denouement and climax of the novel, the characters fail to deliver any truly chilling, compelling, titillating or otherwise moving material. Noriko, the heroine of this story, is constantly feeling faint, sweating profusely due to her "nerves," weeping or insufferably blurting out her suspicions to the bad guys with no hope of taking action. I found myself begging her to do something interesting, or at least spy effectively on her creepy in-laws. Instead, she is reduced to a simpering, impotent zombie with no hope of self-actualization. Plus, the sexual content is wholly bland, if a little yucky. Definitely seems written for mainstream consumption, without much passion or craft.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    A woman marries after a whirlwind romance. She goes to live with her husband and the in laws in a massive house, where four generations of a very close family live in harmony. The family are perfect, too perfect in many ways, and minor anomalies begin to grate. But the family is close knit and she cannot penetrative their defences. Random acquaintances hint at secrets and wrongdoings, and there are a series of strange events and happenings - murders and miracles maybe. Is she imagining things? We A woman marries after a whirlwind romance. She goes to live with her husband and the in laws in a massive house, where four generations of a very close family live in harmony. The family are perfect, too perfect in many ways, and minor anomalies begin to grate. But the family is close knit and she cannot penetrative their defences. Random acquaintances hint at secrets and wrongdoings, and there are a series of strange events and happenings - murders and miracles maybe. Is she imagining things? We have a 98 year old matriarch who may be a drug dealer, and just who killed a family of four who lived in a house rented from the in laws? We have a "cripple" who can walk and a "mute" that can talk. Competent psychological thriller. Did I mention that the family was close ......

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alex (The Bookubus)

    Noriko marries into the Shito family and as she settles into married life and being part of her new family she begins to have suspicions that all is not as it seems. The comparison to Rosemary's Baby is spot on and it almost feels like a retelling at times with some story beats being almost identical. (The mention of anime character Honeybee Hutch has to be a reference to Rosemary's friend Hutch, right?) But Nonami still manages to make the story feel like its own thing and it goes in a different Noriko marries into the Shito family and as she settles into married life and being part of her new family she begins to have suspicions that all is not as it seems. The comparison to Rosemary's Baby is spot on and it almost feels like a retelling at times with some story beats being almost identical. (The mention of anime character Honeybee Hutch has to be a reference to Rosemary's friend Hutch, right?) But Nonami still manages to make the story feel like its own thing and it goes in a different direction than what you might expect. The story hooked me from page one as Noriko has an interaction with a neighbour which sets off the feeling that something isn't quite right. The atmosphere, the mystery and the feeling of unease were very well crafted. I would say it's an interesting mix of psychological and gothic horror in a contemporary setting. The matriarchal 'Great Granny' was such a brilliant character; so enigmatic and powerful beneath her frail exterior. In fact, all of the characters were interesting in their own way and Noriko was a believable and relatable protagonist. The only negative for me was that Noriko goes back and forth quite a bit in the way she feels about the family and I felt that got a bit repetitive. If you're looking for a story about a family with a dark secret then look no further!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aerin

    The title tells you this book will be creepy, the cover tells you it'll be gross, and the book turned out to be the perfect composite of creepy and gross I was looking for. The title tells you this book will be creepy, the cover tells you it'll be gross, and the book turned out to be the perfect composite of creepy and gross I was looking for.

  6. 4 out of 5

    4cats

    Dark, disturbing psychological read. Noriko accepts an offer of an arranged marriage. She goes to live with her large family but things just don't ring true. Unnerving! Dark, disturbing psychological read. Noriko accepts an offer of an arranged marriage. She goes to live with her large family but things just don't ring true. Unnerving!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peaches

    ***Spoilers included*** Well, I can’t speak to the writing style since this was a translation and that wouldn’t be fair, so I’ll stick with the plot. This book was WTF and not in a “good” way for a thriller. Plot: Against her mother and friend’s advice, Noriko moves into the Shitos’s house after marrying the son, a family of eight including a great grandmother who allegedly can’t walk, a grandfather who allegedly can’t talk, a mentally impaired brother and his alleged sister, a mother and father, ***Spoilers included*** Well, I can’t speak to the writing style since this was a translation and that wouldn’t be fair, so I’ll stick with the plot. This book was WTF and not in a “good” way for a thriller. Plot: Against her mother and friend’s advice, Noriko moves into the Shitos’s house after marrying the son, a family of eight including a great grandmother who allegedly can’t walk, a grandfather who allegedly can’t talk, a mentally impaired brother and his alleged sister, a mother and father, and the husband. The family fawns over Noriko constantly, but she can’t shake odd events such as a man and his family dying in a gas explosion in one of the Shitos’s rental buildings after he tried to warn Noriko of something, seeing the great grandmother walk, hearing the grandfather talk, the sister and mentally impaired brother taking a bath together (and her sticking her finger up his butt to relieve constipation...which might have been the only other disturbing part of the book besides the climax...pun intended). Noriko finds out the family has been drugging her and instead of running away, she cries a lot and allows the family to find out she suspects them. Eventually, they drug and gaslight her enough to reveal that they’re just a largest incest family and she accepts it as some kind of noble thing. Then, she somewhat willingly (I guess? It’s weird since she’s been drugged) has sex with all of the males of the family in a crazed orgy and helps the family drug her friend so they can have another woman join. I was disappointed because I was hoping for supernatural elements since it was compared to Rosemary’s Baby, but no. Just pretty standard incest and a cultish family. It was a short read, so I wasn’t too annoyed that it didn’t live up to my expectations, but I definitely think it was misbranded. It was also frustrating how powerless Noriko was even before the drugging. It would probably make a better movie. I will say that it's unfortunately pretty memorable because, again, WTF.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shonna Froebel

    This is a strangely hypnotic novel. Noriko has recently married into the Shito family, a family in which many generations live together in one house. Her mother tried to dissuade her from this choice, but she felt strongly attracted to her husband Kazuhito and, after meeting his family, was impressed by the friendliness of his extended family. As she settles into the household she is impressed by how good-natured everyone is. The family has significant holdings and lives in a house with a big yar This is a strangely hypnotic novel. Noriko has recently married into the Shito family, a family in which many generations live together in one house. Her mother tried to dissuade her from this choice, but she felt strongly attracted to her husband Kazuhito and, after meeting his family, was impressed by the friendliness of his extended family. As she settles into the household she is impressed by how good-natured everyone is. The family has significant holdings and lives in a house with a big yard. However some strange events occur that trigger suspicions in Noriko and she begins to imagine all sorts of things. As she gets drawn into the family rituals, she begins to see the extent of the family secrets. Noriko gets manipulated psychologically as she becomes part of the family and the way the story slowly but inexorably draws you into it is mesmerizing. This is one well written but scary book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    FoodxHugs

    This Japanese horror-mystery is a waste of space on the paper it was printed on. Now You're One Of Us tells the story of a young naive bride Noriko who, despite her reservations, moves in with her handsome, sweet husband Kazuhito's large family, which is made up of four generations of Shitos. They seem the perfect family at first, always cheerful, warm and friendly. But maybe there's more to them than meets the eye... Are the close-knit Shitos hiding a gross secret? Is the heroine Noriko going c This Japanese horror-mystery is a waste of space on the paper it was printed on. Now You're One Of Us tells the story of a young naive bride Noriko who, despite her reservations, moves in with her handsome, sweet husband Kazuhito's large family, which is made up of four generations of Shitos. They seem the perfect family at first, always cheerful, warm and friendly. But maybe there's more to them than meets the eye... Are the close-knit Shitos hiding a gross secret? Is the heroine Noriko going crazy? In terms of plotting, described as part Rosemary's Baby and part Rebecca, but succeeding in being neither of those great classics, NYOOU progresses at a snail's pace after the first third. It offers little in the form of twists and turns, but has a nice atmosphere of dread at the start which disintergrates into repetitiveness and silly melodrama. Even the climax isn't satisfying. I guessed the majority of the plot; it wasn't too difficult to figure out that they were a bunch of incestuous weirdos. Although, the Shitos would say they're only trying to keep their bloodline "pure". I mean, come on. What an utterly stupid plot. It has all the ingredients for a spooky little tale at the beginning: an old mysterious tenant of the Shitos disturbing Noriko, a sinister murder-suicide, a too-close relationship between handicapped brother and big "sister", a creepy old great-grandmother, you think the story is going to take you on a chilling ghost train, full of scares and tension. Unfortunately, the novel loses steam and becomes awkwardly boring the rest of the way through. The plot consisted of this: Noriko sees/hears weird things, The Shitos try to reassure her, Noriko's offended and jealous that they're so close, she gets paranoid, Noriko meets up with Tomoni; Noriko sees/hears weird things... blah blah. So monotonous. Any tension that the author built up before is lost because she sticks to this structure so much. It's a shame because Nonami's writing is solid, if a little emotionally hollow and humourless. Noriko is so annoying and stupid. She tells the family about her suspicions about them EVERY TIME. Any normal person with sense would just flee their mansion and go home. God, I wanted to slap this little bitch. She was so insecure and needy, needing to get one up on her friend Tomoni every time they met to discuss The Shitos. There wasn't any development with her character and the rest of the cultish clan were creepy and dull. I wouldn't classify this as a horror or crime novel. Maybe more a psychological-suspense, I don't know. Just avoid this and read Rebecca or Rosemary's Baby. You'll save a lot of boredom and frustration.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    Let me start by saying that everything you need to know about Now You're One of Us is perfectly conveyed on the cover. Really, this has to be my favourite cover of all time. I bought the book knowing absolutely nothing about the story but I knew it was going to be great with that cover. Just...so...icky. Pube in the soap! I suppose I should also preface this review by saying that if you're uptight about, well, pretty much anything then Now You're One of Us probably isn't for you. I'm about as rel Let me start by saying that everything you need to know about Now You're One of Us is perfectly conveyed on the cover. Really, this has to be my favourite cover of all time. I bought the book knowing absolutely nothing about the story but I knew it was going to be great with that cover. Just...so...icky. Pube in the soap! I suppose I should also preface this review by saying that if you're uptight about, well, pretty much anything then Now You're One of Us probably isn't for you. I'm about as relaxed as they come and it had me raising my eyebrows. A quick flick through the reviews on Goodreads shows this one wasn't a hit with a lot of readers and it's clear a lot of people found it shocking. Yes, there are some shocking moments but they're not the biggest part of this book. It's a fantastic, gothic family saga-cum-horror and I loved it. Noriko is such a brilliant lead. I felt everything she felt - when she was beginning to feel a little creeped out by her new family, I was too, when she felt guilty for insulting them after they were so sweet and treated her so well, I completely got it. She's great. She isn't one of those delicate heroines who is too scared to say her piece - while she tries to be polite at all times, Noriko isn't afraid to have a little tiff now and then and her wild outbursts at various family members were so well written. From page one there's an unsettling tone and it doesn't dip as the novel progresses. In fact, it grows and grows until the last quarter of the story - where everything goes straight to crazy town. Seriously, bat shit crazy. I did finish reading with a certain feeling of 'wtaf?' (the 'a' is for actual, by the way - which means things got seriously weird) but I loved it. It was awesome - something I read purely for enjoyment (for a while I wasn't going to review it). I would absolutely love to see a well-made movie version but equally, I think a badly made version would probably made me throw up - I can see it now. Ew. As I said earlier on, if you have any sort of inhibitions then this book probably isn't for you but if creepy is your thing and the thought of pubes on soap piques your interest then definitely check out Now You're One of Us. It's evil and brilliant in equal measure.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Audra (ouija.reads)

    Nonami has been on my list for a long while, and I was drawn to this book in part because of the intriguing cover. It makes me a bit squeamish, and the juxtaposition between cleanliness and dirtiness and all the unspoken mystery evoked with just that one little hair signaling that something is out of place is pretty impressive. The narrative follows main character Noriko, who has just married into a wealthy family and is expected to live at the family home with all her husband’s relatives. They a Nonami has been on my list for a long while, and I was drawn to this book in part because of the intriguing cover. It makes me a bit squeamish, and the juxtaposition between cleanliness and dirtiness and all the unspoken mystery evoked with just that one little hair signaling that something is out of place is pretty impressive. The narrative follows main character Noriko, who has just married into a wealthy family and is expected to live at the family home with all her husband’s relatives. They are perfectly nice and welcoming to her, from her new mother-in-law to the family matriarch, a centenarian who appears frail but still has a sharp mind. But it is clear that something isn’t quite right in the house, with the family, and Noriko grows steadily more paranoid and distraught as she overhears whispered conversations in the night, glimpses strange interactions, and wonders just what they are growing in the garden. This is definitely a slow-burning, gothic-horror type novel. I can understand the comparisons to Rosemary’s Baby and Rebecca, though I’d rank both of those classics above this book. As I was reading, I consistently felt a sense of dread creeping throughout the tone and texture of the pages even though there didn’t seem to be an immediate threat. It keeps you on edge, wondering if Noriko is overreacting to every little thing or if she isn’t seeing the whole picture. The fact that she is totally alone, the sole ally in enemy territory, makes this an interesting read. You don’t know what it is that makes the nice family she is now living with seem to foreign and suspect, but it is clear there is something wrong, something they don’t want her to know! For much of the story, the main character felt fairly inactive to me, vacillating between acceptance of what what going on and doing what was asked of her blindly and then switching to struggling with her conspiracy theories and flinging wild accusations right at the rest of the family. The plot did repeat a bit in this way, and I wished that Noriko could have tried different tactics throughout the book. Overall though, I was impressed with the atmosphere and the weirdness at the end. I am looking forward to trying Body, which is one of Nonami’s more famous novels.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frankie

    Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this dark and deeply uncomfortable Japanese gothic tale about a woman who moves in with her wealthy in-laws and realizes there is something very, very wrong with her new family. The beginning is a little slow, and this is quite a short novel that could do with more build-up, but all throughout there is this sense of dread and wrongness that descended upon me. I had to finish it soon because I couldn't imagine stretching out my discomfort. Noriko's descent into par Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this dark and deeply uncomfortable Japanese gothic tale about a woman who moves in with her wealthy in-laws and realizes there is something very, very wrong with her new family. The beginning is a little slow, and this is quite a short novel that could do with more build-up, but all throughout there is this sense of dread and wrongness that descended upon me. I had to finish it soon because I couldn't imagine stretching out my discomfort. Noriko's descent into paranoia and eventual cult-like brainwashing made me emotionally recoil. So messed up. I assume this novel is set in the 80s but it's got a really old, timeless feel. It helps to have some knowledge about Japanese culture, especially in regards to ie, the family structure, and traditional gender roles. Highly recommended for fans of traditional gothic fiction. Acquiring this novel was really difficult, but you can find second-hand physical copies from Amazon.

  13. 5 out of 5

    T. Frohock

    I enjoyed this story; although I believe a deeper understanding of Japanese culture on my part would have enhanced the layers Nonami placed within her novel. The story is psychological horror, and Noriko's slow descent and acceptance into the family she marries into is riveting, but those expecting an American aesthetic to the narrative might be disappointed. This is simply a story in which the reader must trust the author. I enjoyed this story; although I believe a deeper understanding of Japanese culture on my part would have enhanced the layers Nonami placed within her novel. The story is psychological horror, and Noriko's slow descent and acceptance into the family she marries into is riveting, but those expecting an American aesthetic to the narrative might be disappointed. This is simply a story in which the reader must trust the author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Damien Angelica Walters

    Dark and unsettling.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shona

    Well, that was disturbing. Will post a full review after my book club discussion!

  16. 5 out of 5

    LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)

    Because they owe someone money, Noriko's parents agree to consider an arranged marriage between her and Kazuhito Shito. Kazuhito is handsome, kind, and wealthy. The marriage's main drawback is that Noriko would be expected to move away from her small town and live with Kazuhito and multiple generations of his family in their home in Tokyo. It makes Noriko nervous, but Kazuhito is wonderful and everyone in his family seems so nice when she meets them. In the end, she agrees to the marriage. Ever Because they owe someone money, Noriko's parents agree to consider an arranged marriage between her and Kazuhito Shito. Kazuhito is handsome, kind, and wealthy. The marriage's main drawback is that Noriko would be expected to move away from her small town and live with Kazuhito and multiple generations of his family in their home in Tokyo. It makes Noriko nervous, but Kazuhito is wonderful and everyone in his family seems so nice when she meets them. In the end, she agrees to the marriage. Everything goes well, for a while. Nobody's personality suddenly changes - everyone is just as friendly as when she and Kazuhito first met. It does turn out that Kazuhito wasn't immediately forthcoming about his mentally handicapped younger brother and bedridden grandfather, which Noriko worries is a sign that she'll be roped into being their caretaker, but thankfully that isn't the case. Everyone in the family supports each other, and disagreements are resolved by the family matriarch, Great Granny Ei. Two months after her marriage to Kazuhito, Noriko's peaceful life is interrupted by the arrival of a man from the nearby area. It turns out that the Shitos are his landlords and he hopes to get permission to pay his rent a little late this month. He also wants to tell Noriko something important but is interrupted by one of the Shitos before he gets the opportunity. After that, Noriko visits her parents for the first time since her marriage and comes back to discover that the man and his entire family died in a fire. It's arson, a suspected suicide, but Noriko begins to wonder. What had the man wanted to tell her? Did the Shitos murder him to prevent him from talking? I wanted to read this for several reasons: the cover art was intriguingly cryptic (after finishing the book, I still have no idea what anything on the cover except maybe the little line is supposed to be), the author is a woman (it seems like most Japanese fiction translated into English is by male authors), and I had read several reviews that referred to this as Japanese gothic fiction. I really enjoyed the bulk of this book. The mystery was intriguing, and the slightly off atmosphere was wonderful. When Noriko was at the Shito family home, it was easy to forget that this was a contemporary-set novel - it made the house ever-so-slightly claustrophobic, which intensified as Noriko's suspicions began to pile up. Were the Shitos really as pleasant as they seemed? What was the real purpose of Great Granny's private meetings with members of the nearby community? Was the relationship between Kazuhito's sister and mentally handicapped brother really as incestuously close as it seemed? Unfortunately, the mystery was somewhat ruined by Nonami telegraphing important details too soon. I spent much of the book thinking "Okay, Noriko and I both suspect that __ is going on, but since that explanation is pretty obvious, surely the truth must be something else?" Except it wasn't. There were a couple surprises, but I think the ending would have had much more of an impact if the things Noriko spent most of the book suspecting had been more different from what was actually going on. I did find the process by which the Shitos made Noriko one of them unsettling and disturbing (content warning for on-page gaslighting and abuse, particularly emotional and mental), but that, too, didn't have as much impact on me as it should have had, not even after the fates of a couple other characters were revealed. I found important aspects of the ending to be very difficult to swallow. The more people who know a secret, the harder it should be to keep, and the Shito family secrets had reached a point where the police should have heard something and gotten involved. And yes, the family was rich, but surely they couldn't afford to bribe everyone? This book had a lot of promise and could have been amazing, but unfortunately it fell a little flat for me in the end. Still, I enjoyed the bulk of it and don't regret reading it. I intend to try another one of the author's works at some point in the future. (Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

  17. 5 out of 5

    A.

    Bro What In The Fuck

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I have found a true Japanese gothic and I am head over heels in love! Now You’re One of Us is the story of a young woman that marries into a very large, traditional Japanese family. All members of the family live under the same roof in a sprawling estate, they welcome her with open arms and heap constant praise on her. She comes to love the family, but Noriko can’t help but feel that there is something off about this family. Despite now being part of the family, Noriko feels like there is a wall I have found a true Japanese gothic and I am head over heels in love! Now You’re One of Us is the story of a young woman that marries into a very large, traditional Japanese family. All members of the family live under the same roof in a sprawling estate, they welcome her with open arms and heap constant praise on her. She comes to love the family, but Noriko can’t help but feel that there is something off about this family. Despite now being part of the family, Noriko feels like there is a wall between her and the Shito family. As she gets to know them, she starts to see or experience things that maybe aren’t quite right, and she begins to question herself as to whether or not she’s just being paranoid. The Shito’s have been so kind, almost overbearingly so. “She thought of these people as family and had decided to devote her life to them, but she just couldn’t seem to dispel the strange feeling of alienation. She didn’t have a single complaint. But there was another Noriko inside who remained unconvinced, a Noriko stubbornly trying to protect something she had sustained since the day she had been born.” Getting married and integrating into a new family is a terrifying experience for many women throughout history. Trust is a fragile thing, and it’s easy to feel that you’re alone when you’re surrounded by a family that is not your family. This was an intensely internal novel as Noriko struggles with her feelings about the Shito family, a mix of love and suspicion, and she begins to shrink into herself as she molds herself to the family. She gradually loses her autonomy as she finds her spirit crushed by the unbending force of the family. The real horror of this novel is how true to life Noriko’s conflict is with a family that makes her uncomfortable. While reading, I was reminded of my own experiences meeting the extended family of my high school boyfriend (we intended to marry). He had an uncle who was clearly mentally ill and acted out in extremely creepy ways, but the entire family disregarded everything and pretended not to notice, but their efforts to protect me from him spoke volumes. You can pretend that everything is okay, but is it really? A wonderful literary horror in the tradition of Ira Levin, Daphne du Maurier, and Shirley Jackson; Now You’re One of Us is a slow burn of a tragedy that kept me hungry to know the Shito family’s secrets. ✮ Read this review and more like it on my blog ✮

  19. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    Maybe something was lost in the traslation of this book, but I thought it was just dull. Instead of creating an atmosphere of suspense, the author just states the facts. Could have been a really creepy book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    EW!!!! I was totally prepared to give this book four stars until I almost threw-up over the ending! I really liked it up until that part, but I just cannot give it a higher rating after THAT. Too gross...too bad!

  21. 4 out of 5

    David Stephens

    Although it begins with a writing style and characterizations that seem juvenile and simplistic (though, this could be partially due to the translation), Asa Nonami's Now You're One of Us slowly develops a more mature voice and, at least, a main character who has more depth than it may first appear. Nonami handles the book's hallucinogenic moments well, causing some reader disorientation without being totally confusing. She also gives just enough access into the protagonist Noriko's thought proc Although it begins with a writing style and characterizations that seem juvenile and simplistic (though, this could be partially due to the translation), Asa Nonami's Now You're One of Us slowly develops a more mature voice and, at least, a main character who has more depth than it may first appear. Nonami handles the book's hallucinogenic moments well, causing some reader disorientation without being totally confusing. She also gives just enough access into the protagonist Noriko's thought processes to allow readers to see just how fiercely Noriko is buffeted around by both her own suspicions and her new family's subtle deceptions. Of course, with a story like this—one where readers likely know Noriko's new family is hiding some terrible secret—the other characters are fairly predictable. Noriko's new husband is attractive and agreeable if not distant. The rest of the extended family is often polite and pleasant with just a few hints of malice or condescension from time to time. This isn't an entirely negative thing, however. Their bland natures allow Nonami to strike the right balance between presenting a hint of something nefarious going on and the reasonable excuses that inevitably follow. While the story certainly doesn't break any new ground and the big reveal is underwhelming, I'll admit that I tore through a large portion of the book, unable to stop. Noriko's world was just constricting enough to keep pushing me forward.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jos M

    Charitably, I don't think I understood this. Follows the world's dumbest woman who after an arranged-ish (Japanese-style arranged, more of an introduction service that a binding contract as I understand it) marriage to a wealthy, handsome young gent moves - in the time-honored fashion we've come to expect - to his family's wealthy estate in a remote area Tokyo (!) and comes to see that something is very wrong with her new extended family of inlaws. Look, I love Gothic fiction. I read a lot of Ja Charitably, I don't think I understood this. Follows the world's dumbest woman who after an arranged-ish (Japanese-style arranged, more of an introduction service that a binding contract as I understand it) marriage to a wealthy, handsome young gent moves - in the time-honored fashion we've come to expect - to his family's wealthy estate in a remote area Tokyo (!) and comes to see that something is very wrong with her new extended family of inlaws. Look, I love Gothic fiction. I read a lot of Japanese writers in translation, I enjoy them. So maybe my expectations were too high. I think there are some choices in this that I don't understand -- straight off the bat a remote suburb of Tokyo that is only 40 mins by subway from your friends is pretty funny. Fundamentally, I think there are probably ideas about what is owed to one's extended family that are inherent in this book that I don't share. (view spoiler)[I also have to say the drug knowledge in this is just woeful. Like doesn't know the difference between a mushroom and a plant bad? (hide spoiler)] I know that's being a Gothic heroine but the main character spends the whole book wandering about vaguely, taking angry naps, telling people her suspicions about them etc. She lacked the most basic survival instincts, and in this kind of fiction, that is a real problem. In all, this was just not good for me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    DeAnna Knippling

    Non-supernatural gothic tale of an influential, wealthy family in Japan, with shades of horror. For some reason, I was expecting a werewolf book--it was the hair on the soap on the cover. But instead I found shades of Rebecca, focused not on the house the wealthy family lives in, but the interconnected relationships between them. A horrifically specific depiction of brainwashing, will definitely put the hairs up on the back of your neck. When I read it in September, I was like, "This was good, bu Non-supernatural gothic tale of an influential, wealthy family in Japan, with shades of horror. For some reason, I was expecting a werewolf book--it was the hair on the soap on the cover. But instead I found shades of Rebecca, focused not on the house the wealthy family lives in, but the interconnected relationships between them. A horrifically specific depiction of brainwashing, will definitely put the hairs up on the back of your neck. When I read it in September, I was like, "This was good, but not over the top good." But it has STUCK in my memory, so I'll raise it a star. Recommended if you liked the movie Parasite.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Delmy

    Reading the summary for this book it does not do this story justice. If you strip it to its general theme, sure it has similarities to those books. However, it so much more than that. Its disturbing and really really addictive. Once you start reading it, you just cannot stop. You need to know what the secret is, what are these people hiding. In the end, oh man, the ending is vomit inducing and you just cannot look away because you need to know how it finally ends. And the ending is wow something Reading the summary for this book it does not do this story justice. If you strip it to its general theme, sure it has similarities to those books. However, it so much more than that. Its disturbing and really really addictive. Once you start reading it, you just cannot stop. You need to know what the secret is, what are these people hiding. In the end, oh man, the ending is vomit inducing and you just cannot look away because you need to know how it finally ends. And the ending is wow something else.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Betts-Green (Dinosaur in the Library)

    Well, that was...odd.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Asa Nonami has created a novel that leaves a lasting impression, a story of witchcraft, psychosis, and overweening children, but I should warn potential readers, it's a long time coming. I should concede that this is possibly characteristic of Japanese writing, and definitely characteristic of crime writing, but Now You're One of Us takes a long time getting to the story, and for someone like me with limited time to spend reading for leisure, this can be frustrating. Her story has been compared Asa Nonami has created a novel that leaves a lasting impression, a story of witchcraft, psychosis, and overweening children, but I should warn potential readers, it's a long time coming. I should concede that this is possibly characteristic of Japanese writing, and definitely characteristic of crime writing, but Now You're One of Us takes a long time getting to the story, and for someone like me with limited time to spend reading for leisure, this can be frustrating. Her story has been compared to Rebecca and Rosemary's Baby, but I found it quite different to the conventions these stories used, and more like the creeping horror of a Spanish story - something like The Strain, where everything is perfectly fine, until it's not, and by that time it's too late to prevent the horror unfolding, would have been a better analogy, to my mind. A review on the publisher's website compares the text to Jaws, another good comparison. The writer's style flows well, and extensive scene descriptions ensure her readers can easily follow the action, without being overwhelmed by the detail - colorful, pastel-work scenes enrich the narrative, and clean characterizations also streamline her storytelling. A structural similarity with Bram Stoker's Dracula is a little distressing, since it hints at the possibility that this story is simply derivative and a lazy rewrite of an existing work, but on the whole the story stands well on its own merits.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Every family is different and the old ones even more so. When Noriko meets and marries her husband, Kazuhito, within only a few months it doesn’t matter because they love each other and she likes his family. But living with the eight Shito’s on their secluded land starts to put Noriko on edge as she slowly starts to notice the odd happenings. With visitor’s coming to see the elderly great-grandmother for wisdom, the late night family meetings of which Noriko is excluded from, to time playing fas Every family is different and the old ones even more so. When Noriko meets and marries her husband, Kazuhito, within only a few months it doesn’t matter because they love each other and she likes his family. But living with the eight Shito’s on their secluded land starts to put Noriko on edge as she slowly starts to notice the odd happenings. With visitor’s coming to see the elderly great-grandmother for wisdom, the late night family meetings of which Noriko is excluded from, to time playing fast and loose with her memory. Soon Noriko’s mind is at the limit and she’s scared. What is her new family hiding from her? What are people really seeing Great-Granny for? But mostly, what kind of family has she married into? Asa Nonami wrote an amazing Japanese horror/thriller that takes the reader on a well written and thought out ride. As readers we watch as Noriko’s mind slowly begins to slip as she becomes scared of the odd happening around the family home and how remarkably she tries to escape from her thoughts of danger. I was not expecting such an ending, while at the start the relationship between (view spoiler)[Ayano and Takeharu (hide spoiler)] caused me to grimace by the time I completed the book I was amazed at how everything fit together. Every action in the house and outside was carefully thought out and well planned by Asa Nonami, it is the first I have read with such detail and thought. The constipation scene was still a bit gross, it made me wince as the visual filled my brain.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

    Comment on first reading: I file this one under noir because it is the story of a helpless soul not unlike what one might find in Gil Brewer or Cornell Woolrich. But rather than a weak man against an Evil Woman (as in Brewer) or a powerless man (or woman) against Implacable Fate (as in Woolrich), here we have a woman (a new bride) against a traditional, multigenerational Japanese family, and it is this added cultural dimension that makes this book more than just another trip around the same old Comment on first reading: I file this one under noir because it is the story of a helpless soul not unlike what one might find in Gil Brewer or Cornell Woolrich. But rather than a weak man against an Evil Woman (as in Brewer) or a powerless man (or woman) against Implacable Fate (as in Woolrich), here we have a woman (a new bride) against a traditional, multigenerational Japanese family, and it is this added cultural dimension that makes this book more than just another trip around the same old block (Rosemary's Baby, Rebecca, etc). Comment on second reading: Understanding/appreciation of this novel requires at least a bit of knowledge about the history of the Ie system of families in Japan. Without first doing a bit of background reading, readers may find the apprehensions and behaviors of this novel's protagonist more inscrutable than they need be. First reading: 25 May 2008 Second reading: 26 April 2009 Third reading: 21 March 2016 Fourth reading: 18 March 2019

  29. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    In Japanese, the title of this book is ANKI (Remembrance) which doesn't quite capture the creepiness of this tale. I love the English title (so insidious, don't you think?) and the bar of soap with a hair stuck to it. In this novel, Noriko falls in love with and marries the scion of a multi-generational family. Although her mother warns her that it won't be easy living with so many people under one roof, she enjoys her new life...at first. Then she starts to have suspicions about the explosion do In Japanese, the title of this book is ANKI (Remembrance) which doesn't quite capture the creepiness of this tale. I love the English title (so insidious, don't you think?) and the bar of soap with a hair stuck to it. In this novel, Noriko falls in love with and marries the scion of a multi-generational family. Although her mother warns her that it won't be easy living with so many people under one roof, she enjoys her new life...at first. Then she starts to have suspicions about the explosion down the street, the poisonous plants in the garden, and the weird relationship between the elder sister and the mentally retarded brother. This is popular fiction, but Nonami paints an accurate picture of Japanese society and what goes into the decision to marry in Japan.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    A woman named Noriko is married, and goes to live with a large family of in-laws; soon, she discovers a few things that are very odd around the house, culminating in the strange murder-suicide of an ice vendor renting on the property. Noriko struggles with her doubts while the family is nothing but kind to her, and slowly wonders if she's losing her mind...or if the family is trying to keep her quiet. As a story, it takes far too long to get intriguing; and it's only the last few chapters that ' A woman named Noriko is married, and goes to live with a large family of in-laws; soon, she discovers a few things that are very odd around the house, culminating in the strange murder-suicide of an ice vendor renting on the property. Noriko struggles with her doubts while the family is nothing but kind to her, and slowly wonders if she's losing her mind...or if the family is trying to keep her quiet. As a story, it takes far too long to get intriguing; and it's only the last few chapters that 'save' this book...but getting there is more difficult than it should be.

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