Imagine taking a walk with the protagonist of the story, and having her tell you a surreal story. You don't really get to know her as much as you get to know her haunting tale, but it's alright. You walk on and she takes you to the lake, where everything supposedly happens and where all the characters come together, and then she goes, and you are left with a haunting feeling. This is pretty much how the novel (novella) was for me. It's a quick read but, like other Yoshimoto books, will leave you with a haunting feeling long after you've finished the book. I agree with some that it's not at par with her other works, yet it still has that 'distinct' Yoshimoto voice I've come to enjoy.