Convenience Store Woman Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Meet Keiko. Keiko is 36 years old. She's never had a boyfriend, and she's been working in the same supermarket for eighteen years. Keiko's family wishes she'd get a proper job. Her friends wonder why she won't get married. But Keiko knows what makes her happy, and she's not going to let anyone come between her and her convenience store.
- 1 credit a month to use on any title to download and keep
- Listen to anything from the Plus Catalogue—thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks
- Download titles to your library and listen offline
- No commitment—cancel anytime
- Audible is ₹199.00/month after 30 days. Renews automatically.
|Listening Length||3 hours and 21 minutes|
|Audible.in Release Date||09 March 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #205 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2 in Women's Fiction
#491 in Contemporary Fiction (Books)
Reviews with images
Top reviews from India
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
1) Obtain a “respectable” qualification by a certain age.
2) Get a “good” job, earn a decent income. Reach a certain level in your organization, within a certain time.
3) Marry a “suitable” boy, earning a decent income, by a certain age – Very Important requirement.
4) Have a certain number of children, by a certain age – Very Important requirement
5) Own your own house with a pre-defined period
Well, the list goes on and on. Society, relatives, neighbours, friends have pre-conceived notions of what is “right” for a woman. But…what happens when you don’t abide by society’s norms? What if you take your own sweet time to get married? If your job/career is not considered “good” enough, and your salary doesn’t meet society’s exacting standards? What if you exceed the “acceptable” age limit to bear a child – or (gasp!) you decide you don’t want a child at all? What if (super gasp!) your sexual orientation is different? Ahhh – then it is rightfully everyone’s business, isn’t it, and it is everyone’s duty to give advice/guidance to the woman, to point out what is right!
“Convenience Store Woman” is about Keiko Furukura, who has always been considered to be somewhat odd, in school and in college, not quite “fitting in” with the rest of the crowd. Her parents and sister love her dearly, and are thrilled when she gets a job at a convenience store, at the age of 18. The problem arises when Keiko continues to work at the store for the next 18 years, with no signs of a life partner in her life, no prospects of any promotion/progress in her career. In short, Keiko does not click ANY of the boxes for what is “right” and “normal” as per the standards in their society. When a rather strange boy enters Keiko’s life, her friends and family are ecstatic – at last Keiko will have a happy life! But – does Keiko really need this weird boy at all in her life – just to keep everyone happy? What if she is happy just the way she is, loves her work (and is very good at it!), and doesn’t need a partner, nor a high flying job?
Japanese society seems alarmingly similar to ours! Here are my two primary takeaways from this delightful little book, which I read in two days –
1) Never underestimate the power of a regular employment to give you an identity, to give you a daily routine to follow, to keep you emotionally stable – in short, to keep you happy, and to keep your life in order. You don’t have to be the CEO of your company, but the easy comradeship of your colleagues, the feeling that you are good at what you are doing (however humble that work may be), getting up at a particular time in the morning and getting ready, knowing that you are wanted at your workplace – all this is so, so important. If, like Keiko, your job brings you happiness and contentment, does anyone have a right to question you ? Think of it this way – Keiko may be much happier being a Convenience Store worker, earning her paltry (by other people’s standards), leading her quiet little organized life than a woman who is in the top rungs of her organization!
2) Some people are happy on their own, and they do not feel the need for a partner! People need to respect and understand this – EVERYONE cannot follow the same set of rules. Relatives, neighbourhood aunties, nosy colleagues need to STOP hounding people who choose to live on their own terms! Please respect their privacy.
Ultimately, “Convenience Store Woman” asks the Reader one very important question. What is more important – adhering to society’s norms, however miserable you may be doing so, or being happy and fulfilled in life just the way you are?
Please click “helpful” if you like my review, and you empathize with Keiko!
non spoiler-y bit:
if you're looking for a short read, this is the first book i would recommend to you. go for it, even if you dont end up enjoying it exceptionally (which i doubt), you might learn a new Japanese word along the way at least.
light spoilers begin here:
it is based around (and written in the perspective of) a middle-aged Japanese woman, who goes about her life, and evidently notices small human things more than other people do. i would actually like to disagree with the one line remarks printed on the cover. as i've heard someone else point out, instead of 'funny, quirky', i would see this more as a bitter-sweet story exploring trifle but important human actions, which are lost on most of us, or we've just become too accustomed to them.
keiko, the protagonist, seems at first as though she is suffering from an undetectable condition, but as we read more and more, it becomes apparent that she is merely being able to see a few things from the eye of an outsider, of a child, almost; and therefore, provides an awfully blunt and accurate description. we see how even though she doesnt agree with many norms, she tries her very best to blend in. this becomes difficult for her when these "norms" keep changing.
the 'quirky' element described by someone is actually human life from the eyes of an alien-- in short, painfully correct to the point of being uncomfortable. the 'funny' part, is when we hear our habits being spoken about in simple words-- it does make you stop and smile though.
so where does the convenience store come in? this is the place Keiko joined 16 years ago in the attempts to blend in with the world, but when she begins to find a sense of belonging here, understanding things here better than she did of the strange world, she is expected to leave it, since now it's unnatural for a 30- something single woman working such a casual job. to say the least, this throws her off balance. the convenience store is the most important place in her life, and her everyday life is based around it in all ways.
there are instances where i found myself wishing that Keiko understood some basic human feelings, but we made our peace halfway through. it was just needed to be acknowledged that she was the way she was. by the end, i decided that i really liked this convenience store woman.
consisting of some very well written characters, and not so much of a plot than the whisper of a message, Convenience Store Woman is an very enjoyable read.
Top reviews from other countries
My favourite observation of the book is that people love to make up their own narratives of other peoples' lives, and often don't even realise they are doing it.
The book, like the protagonist, is simple and unusual, and draws on the pleasures of minutiae without being overly dull.
The translation has been well done and the tone of the writing retains echoes the unselfconscious narrator. A straightforward plot which won't confuse or bewilder, meaning that the reader can just enjoy the ride and the gradual character revelation.
It's pretty short, so would make a good book on your commute, weekend away, or just a lazy armchair read on a rainy day.
If you like indie movies, you'll probably like this.
She has worked at a local convenience store for eighteen years. This job started while she was a student, but, at thirty six, she has not moved on and, although perfectly happy in her work, it is obvious that she is not fulfilling the role that society has set out for her. She is not married, feels no warmth towards babies, and is content to remain single.
This is an interesting look at what happens when people do not fit into the roles expected to them and how they are viewed. As someone who worked for a Japanese company for a number of years, I could see how Keiko would have been under immense pressure to conform. It was also a interesting look at the humble convenience store – not viewed by most of us, I am sure, as a thing of great beauty, but, in Keiko’s eyes, raised above the humble station it normally inhabits in our thoughts. A really unusual book, which I am pleased that I read.