This is an odd little book that I think a lot of people will not like or understand; beneath it all is an interesting little tale of old age, survival, and what it means to be alive. Life is so difficult in the village that they do things we would find monstrous to maintain order. Once someone reaches the age of 70, they are carried up the mountain to die and go into Paradise. The reasoning behind it is that you are no longer useful to the village once you turn 70, and that you are just a drain on resources. One woman left on the mountain is named Kayu Saitoh; she just wants to die peacefully, but she is saved by other women who refused to die on the mountain, and formed their own mock village called Dendera. After that, the plot is simple: a hungry bear finds the women’s camp. What happens then is an examination of humanity, and what older people still have to offer. The story is simple, but the writing is excellent. Yuya Sato brings to life something that would be difficult for any other author.
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