Book Review: Lion Cross Point by Masatsugu Ono

Lion Cross Point: Ono, Masatsugu, Turvill, Angus: 9781931883887: Books

Title: Lion Cross Point

Author: Masatsugu Ono

Genre: Literary Fiction/Novella

Number of Pages: 128

Rating: B+

Recommended?: Yes

While I’ve had trouble connecting with Japanese fiction in the past (maybe partially because of things being lost in translation,) I really enjoyed this book. It actually might be the best Japanese novel I’ve ever read. Lion Cross Point is about a little boy named Takeru, who goes to live with family in the countryside after being separated from his mother under unclear circumstances.

Takeru’s mom was a mess and this is the first time he’s in an environment where he is safe and able to thrive. However, bad memories keep resurfacing and keeping Takeru from enjoying his life, and he’s also haunted by the spirit of a mentally disabled relative who went missing years ago.

Takeru seems to have a connection to the spirit because of his own severely disabled brother, and we gradually come to an understanding of what happened with them when they living with their neglectful mother. This book was very sad and had a rich sense of atmosphere.

I had this feeling of dread throughout the book because of the terrible things that happen to Takeru and his brother. Even though Takeru ends up in the custody of people who care about him the ultimate takeaway is rather dark. This is definitely a book that will stay with me for a long time.

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