A dazzling debut. Magical realism blends with Japanese myth and legend in an original story about grief, memory, time and an earthquake that shook a nation.
There's a catfish under the islands of Japan and when it rolls the land rises and falls.
Sora hates the catfish whose rolling caused an earthquake so powerful it cracked time itself. It destroyed her home and took her mother. Now Sora and her scientist father live close to the zones – the wild and abandoned places where time runs faster or slower than normal.
Sora is sensitive to the shifts, and her father recruits her help in exploring these liminal spaces. But it's dangerous there – and as she strays further inside in search of her mother, she finds that time distorts, memories fracture and shadows, a glimmer of things not entirely human, linger. After Sora's father goes missing, she has no choice but to venture into uncharted spaces within the time zones to find him, her mother and perhaps even the catfish itself. . .
Stylish, accomplished and thought-provoking story-telling explores themes of identity, philosophy, science, ecology, life, loss and love.