(Book Review) ‘Common Ground’ by Naomi Ishiguro

by Miki
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How do you feel about diversity? Do you have friends who belong to an ethnic minority?


Naomi Ishiguro’s Common Ground reminded me of the perception gap between myself and others. As a Japanese national who lives in London, I probably see the world differently compared to those who are considered a majority in the UK. I believe some of the concepts this book captured are very familiar to me.

ナオミ・イシグロの小説「Common Ground」を読んで、私は自分自身が周囲との感覚の違いについて悩んだ経験を思い出しました。ロンドンに住む日本人として、私はおそらくこの地の大多数の人と少々違ったものの見方をしていると思うことがあります。そんな私にとって、この本で描かれるテーマは馴染み深いものでした。

The story is told in the style of a coming-of-age novel about two young boys, Stan and Charlie, and is set in the early 2000s. Stan lives in a suburban English town, and is struggling with his family and friends. Charlie, who is slightly older than him, is from a Traveler family. One day they happen to find each other at the local common, and a beautiful friendship begins to play out.


In the suburban town where the story begins, and in the later half of the book in the hustle and bustle of London, they both struggle and live in the same city, but they see the world differently, and the society treats them differently. It’s hear-breaking to read how they gradually start learning those gaps between them. This book vividly captures the so-called glass ceiling/wall inflicted by biased views and discrimination, whilst anchoring the narrative around how these two main characters grow up.


Even with these rather political themes regarding the ethnicity and discriminations, the overall tone of the book was ultimately hear-warming and refreshingly not very preachy at all! Stan and Charlie will definitely stay with you, good friends, opening your eyes – even if just a little – on your own life.


Thank you Tinder Press for the review copy. ‘Common Ground’ will be released on 25th March 2021!

今回は出版前にレビュー用の本をTinder Pressから頂きました。とても読みたかった作品、ありがとうございました。「Common Ground」は2021年3月25日に出版されます。ぜひお手に取ってみてください!!

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