So this book is pretty great.
Also, I'm not gonna lie: it is really slow-paced. I was 3/4 of the way through the book by the time I realized, "hey, nothing's really 'happened' yet." Some people might think it was boring or dull or something along those lines, but it's not. It is graceful and quiet.
The writing is absolutely gorgeous. I found myself rereading a lot of passages because they were so beautiful, it was like they had something more to say beyond just the meaning they delivered in the story.
The only real criticism I have was when Tatsuji is telling his story--I was thinking to myself, "People don't really talk like that!!"
This is a book that doesn't really leave much of anything resolved; there are no neat & tidy little packages. And yet somehow it was still immensely satisfying to me. There was so much going on, and it was just really well crafted and expertly done. It's just one of those books about life where everything feels quite realistic.
I think I'll want to reread it again one day.