The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa; translated by Stephen Snyder
Don’t let the math equations frighten you off from this gentle gem. I hated math and struggled with it in school – and while I didn’t always get the nameless professor’s explanations in these absorbing pages about prime numbers, let alone amicable numbers, my lack of math wizardry in no way dented my love for this book.
Every day a housekeeper arrives at the cottage of a 64-year-old math professor whose memory lasts precisely 80 minutes. No more. No less. And so every day the housekeeper must reintroduce herself to the professor. Their relationship revolves around his teaching her and her 10-year-old son not only the beauty of numbers but also eternal, unchangeable truths.
There’s no sex, no violence, no foul language. Ogawa’s story is about the essence of relationship in its pure sincerity of giving and loving without agenda or profit. A book of peace and hope.