Why did I love this book?
This is one of the most compelling magical realism stories I’ve read lately.
Set in Japan, mostly in a family home in the mountains (once used as a breeding ground for silkworms, the young Natsuki forms a bond with her childhood friend, Yuu, that’s swiftly ended when the two children are caught having sex and then separated until, years later as adults, they are brought back together (this time with Natsuki’s husband.
The three want to escape the life-stifling hold of the Earthlings and their baby-producing factory, and take refuge in Natsuki and Yuu’s childhood fantasy of being aliens. Isolated in the mountain when winter cuts them off from the rest of the world, they subject themselves to a horrifying attempt to shed their Earthling selves with murder and the ultimate self-sacrifice.
Earthlings is a compelling adventure into magical realism. I could have kept reading this book well beyond the end. It was captivating writing and an immensely consuming story.