Double Whorls
Author: Yukiya Shōji
Co-Author(s): Natsu Miyashita
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591130698
278 pages
13.5 x 19.5 cm / 5.4 x 7.8 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2012
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Two popular writers share authorship of this much talked about work, writing alternately from the perspectives of brother and sister. Yukiya Shōji writes from the perspective of Yūichi, an eleventh-grader who plays in a band, and Natsu Miyashita writes from the perspective of Yūichi’s little sister Madoka, a fourth-grader who loves judo. The narrative centers on a certain family secret, the circumstances of which gradually come to light.

Brother and sister both have two whorls in their hair. Their mother does as well, and she has always told them that it’s a mark of good fortune. One day when Madoka is at home alone, a phone call comes in from a woman she doesn’t know. Later, her mother says she doesn’t know the woman either, but there seems to be something a little strange in her manner.

Yūichi then discovers that the woman has attended a live performance of his band, Double Spin Round, and that his father knows her. As time goes on, a music producer expresses an interest in signing the band, but as soon as Yūichi says the producer’s name is Ishigō, his mother is dead set against it.

Eventually Yūichi learns that his mother had once set her sights on becoming a professional singer, and the woman on the phone was her manager at the time. His mother had also gotten to know Ishigō during that period. Meanwhile, Madoka is increasingly distressed by the change that has come over their mother ever since the producer approached her brother’s band.

Their mother finally gives her blessing for Yūichi’s band to sign with Ishigō’s office, and also reveals the secret she has been keeping from them until now. Yūichi and Madoka become aware of how their parents have been protecting them, and gain a new appreciation for family.

Miyashita delicately probes the psychology of ten-year-old Madoka, who is at that sensitive age when a little girl begins to turn outward and become more aware of the world around her, as master storyteller Shōji keeps the plot moving along. The authors’ two distinct styles meld perfectly to produce a warm-hearted tale of family.