1990s, Adultery, Court/Law, Crime and Mystery, Cross Class, Diverse Hero, Diverse Heroine, Divorce, Historical Fiction, Japan, Loneliness, Murder, Psychological Thriller, Romance, Strong Heroine

Review | What’s Left of Me is Yours by Stephanie Scott

Greed, Lies, Love, and Murder

What’s Left of Me is Yours is an engrossing story of greed, lies, love, and murder. A must-read debut set in Japan in the 90s. Our thanks to the author and The Orion Publishing Group for the audiobook. ​


Audiobook Details

Listening Length10 hours and 57 minutes
AuthorStephanie Scott
NarratorHanako Footman
Whispersync for VoiceReady
Release Date UK: 21 April 2020 | US: 23 June 2020
Program TypeAudiobook
VersionUnabridged
LanguageEnglish
ASINB082MMCV6S

Book Description

A gripping debut set in modern-day Tokyo and inspired by a true crime, What’s Left of Me Is Yours follows a young woman’s search for the truth about her mother’s life – and her murder.

In Japan, a covert industry has grown up around the wakaresaseya(literally “breaker-upper”), a person hired by one spouse to seduce the other in order to gain the advantage in divorce proceedings.

When Sato hires Kaitaro, a wakaresaseya agent, to have an affair with his wife, Rina, he assumes it will be an easy case. But Sato has never truly understood Rina or her desires and Kaitaro’s job is to do exactly that – until he does it too well.

While Rina remains ignorant of the circumstances that brought them together, she and Kaitaro fall in a desperate, singular love, setting in motion a series of violent acts that will forever haunt her daughter Sumiko’s life.

Told from alternating points of view and across the breathtaking landscapes of Japan, What’s Left of Me Is Yours explores the thorny psychological and moral grounds of the actions we take in the name of love, asking where we draw the line between passion and possession.

From the Publisher’s Blurb

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UK and US Covers

Review 

I went out of my comfort zone with this book. I don’t usually read crime and mystery, but this story was too intriguing to miss.

It seems that the legal system in Japan is, or at least was in the 90s, very different from what we are used to in America.

For instance, in a divorce, only one of the parents was given full custody of the children. The other parent depended on the goodwill of the former spouse to ever see his/her offspring again.

In this scenario, determining the cause of the divorce and the party directly responsible for it was essential. Being found guilty could mean the loss of one’s children and the need to financially compensate the other party.

Wherever there is a need, there is a service to provide it.

Sumikko discovers, by accident, that her mother Nina did not die in a car crash twenty years ago. She was murdered by her lover, a man hired by Sumiko’s father to seduce her and provide grounds for an advantageous divorce.

The story is heartbreaking and yet full of love and emotion.

I loved how the author portrayed the intricacies of the characters’ relationships. How my feelings shifted as the story progressed.

This is a debut novel, but it does not read like one. It’s deep, well-written, soul-crushing, sometimes a bit overwhelming.

Loveless marriages, adultery, divorce, and the thin line between passionate love and uncontrolled possession are well dissected in this book.

The role of women in Japanese society is examined, highlighting the impossible choices they have to make in their quest for love and acceptance.

I’ve listened to the audiobook, and the narration was superb. The calm tone of voice is perfect for the story.

The descriptions of forensics and police questionings were made in a way that brought me into the room. I felt the tension, the despair, it was impressively engaging.

I also enjoyed the little trips to the Japanese coast, its delicious flavors, flowers, and ancient temples.

It was a fascinating journey into Japan, and it’s legal system. I highly recommend the audio version for a more immersive experience.

Overall, a great read!

Disclosure: I received an ARC of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.


Try a sample


About the Author

STEPHANIE SCOTT is a Singaporean and British writer who was born and raised in South East Asia. She read English Literature at the Universities of York and Cambridge and holds an M.St in Creative Writing from Oxford University. 

Scott was awarded a British Association of Japanese Studies Toshiba Studentship for her anthropological work on What’s Left of Me Is Yours and has been made a member of the British Japanese Law Association as a result of her research. 

She has also won the A.M. Heath Prize, the Jerwood Arvon Prize for Prose Fiction, and was runner up for the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award. What’s Left of Me Is Yours is her first novel.

Twitter  | Goodreads


41 thoughts on “Review | What’s Left of Me is Yours by Stephanie Scott”

  1. This seems like a very interesting read! I think the title doesn’t match the story much from what I read in the summary and your review, but that’s a relatively minor detail.
    This is something very different from what I use to read but seems very intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It’s a very good book and I highly recommend it. As a side note, I tried again to follow your blog and comment on the cat cafe post, but I keep getting an error message. It’s not the first time it happens. I tried Blogloving but it does not seem to be updated. If you can add me manually, my email is lureviewsbooks@gmail.com πŸ₯°

      Like

  2. This book sounds amazing! I can see how learning about Japan’s legal system might be a bit of a learning curve at first, but I’ve been trying to get into more books that take place in other countries and this seems really intriguing! I just did a quick search, and being a wakaresaseya is an actual profession that exists in Japan, it wasn’t just created for the book! Isn’t that crazy??

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is exciting! I am currently on the 2nd book of Truly Devious trilogy. And i just finished Verity last last week. I feel like my genre right now is murder msytery and all. I’m gonna add this to my tbr!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not read the Truly Devious Trilogy. I will check it out. Murder and Mystery is not my usual cup of coffee but I really enjoyed this book. Maybe because it is a very complex story and there is a lot of insight into Japan’s culture and society.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I adored this book too. I met Stephanie at another friend’s book launch. A lovely woman with enormous talent. I bought the hardback but will now buy the audio. Can’t recommend it enough. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

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