Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.
The Miracles of the Namiya General Store is a Japanese novel that I can heartily recommend to anyone and everyone. You don't need any sort of pre-existing cultural knowledge to grasp this one. The simple writing style is approachable for most ages (though this is adult fiction) and the story's focal points are wonderfully effective and meaningful on a universal level. Also recommendable as a first entry into the oft puzzling sub-genres of magical realism and time travel, as the realism aspect is strongly grounded and the other aspects are simply stated yet whimsical.