The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, 180 pages
translated by Stephen Snyder
herding cats; What's in a Name? profession; Orbis Terrarum: Japan; published in 2009
A never named housekeeper comes to work for a never named math professor. The professor had a head injury in a car accident many years before and only has eighty minutes of short term memory. The housekeeper and her son, nicknamed Root for his flat headed resemblance to the square root sign, form a little family with the professor.
This was a delightful little novel about families and what makes them, about being educated and life long learning, and a bit about math and baseball. I'm sure not everyone finds math a selling point as a topic, but I loved it. The professor falls back on math when he doesn't know what to do or say as it is the one area of his life that he knows, that he has some control over. Plus, we learn a little bit about prime numbers and perfect numbers and solving problems.
Librarything predicted I would love it, and it was bang on. Keep an eye out, I bought it at Costco, so it must have been mass published recently.
also reviewed by thoughts of joy, 3M at onemorecchapter,