• Fault Lines

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily Itami
  • Narrated by: Lydia Wilson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (113 ratings)

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Fault Lines  By  cover art

Fault Lines

By: Emily Itami
Narrated by: Lydia Wilson
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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award

"What is the cost of a mother’s desire?... Emily Itami explores this question with wit and poignancy." (New York Times Book Review)

"The perfect marriage of Sally Rooney and early Murakami." (Kathy Wang, author of Impostor Syndrome)

Mizuki is a Japanese housewife. She has a hardworking husband, two adorable children, and a beautiful Tokyo apartment. It’s everything a woman could want, yet sometimes she wonders whether she would rather throw herself off the high-rise balcony than spend another evening not talking to her husband and hanging up laundry.

Then, one rainy night, she meets Kiyoshi, a successful restaurateur. In him, she rediscovers freedom, friendship, and the neon, electric pulse of the city she has always loved. But the further she falls into their relationship, the clearer it becomes that she is living two lives - and in the end, we can choose only one.

Funny, provocative, and startlingly honest, Fault Lines is for anyone who has ever looked in the mirror and asked, who am I and how did I get here? A bittersweet love story and a piercing portrait of female identity, it introduces Emily Itami as a debut novelist with astounding resonance and wit.

©2021 Emily Itami (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

Dear Listener,

What did I learn about myself while writing Fault Lines?
" Fault Lines is set in Tokyo, and I wrote it after I moved back to London. I loved writing myself back to Japan, and the whole time I was writing I kept thinking of more and more things I wanted to include. It was a kind of intensive daydreaming that was going on at the back of my mind all the time, and I guess one of the things I learned was that there were a lot of details stored there that I don’t think I necessarily would have remembered if I hadn’t been working on the book. It was brilliant fun, retreating into my head and remembering things and then trying to get them down on paper. I also learned that I’m capable of even greater caffeine and biscuit consumption than I previously suspected, and that that is not necessarily a good thing." – Emily Itami, writer of Fault Lines

What listeners say about Fault Lines

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Audible Version of Book

My biggest complaint is that the book was read by an English/British(?) person, and not a person of Asian descent. As a listener, it made it a little confusing. In today’s world of trying to hear all voices equally, it should definitely have been read by a true voice resembling the characters.

However- she did an excellent job reading the book. I would listen to her again!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Confused by the choice of narrator

I wanted to like this book. However, I just couldn’t get past the British narrator (the lead character) for a story about a Japanese woman in Japan. Seriously? Totally ruined the book for me. It’s not that the narrator wasn’t good, it just didn’t match the story. I get that the book was first published in the UK but still I have to believe that with a little effort the publishers could have found a Japanese woman or one of Asian descent to narrate. Perhaps after some time I will revisit this book in print.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Why choose this narrator?

There is absolutely no criticism of the narrator’s performance (outside some brutal intonation mistakes)but why a British voice for a 100% Japanese character that had English ability but American English? I live in Japan and know a myriad of lovely-voiced Japanese women who speak English who could have easily narrated this book for authenticity. It is always a shame when narrators’ voices don’t match the character and worst yet when they butcher the pronunciation of words that belong to, in this case Japanese, the native language. Beautiful story, exquisite, witty prose…just in the wrong accent.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Recommending to several girlfriends

Beautifully written and narrated. A story that made me want to slow down and enjoy life a little bit more.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Like going back

I just moved back to America from Tokyo, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. It was a lot of fun to hear the narrator describe life in Japan, and the neighborhoods that she explored, being so fresh in my mind. I think anyone who’s spent time in Japan, especially Tokyo, would enjoy the book the same way. I doubly enjoyed it because I am a mother, and my son is the same age as the boy in the book. I obviously couldn’t relate to other aspects of the book, but her narrative I think would be enjoyable by anyone nonetheless. Only weird thing I noted was the sometimes British vocabulary/slang that’s used by the narrator, even though her experience with English was supposed to be from her time in New York, but it didn’t really detract from the story. I recommend!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Did not finish

I started over 3 times and I still could not get interested in the book . It was really boring and for a book set in Japan I found the British accents very distracting . Maybe it gets better later in the book but I just couldn’t keep going .

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It Speaks To Your Soul

This book is definitely not for everyone but if you've felt trapped, unheard, and dare I say unloved in a relationship that you're always wondering "what if?" this will speak to you.
I devoured this book like it was my last meal and felt so heard and seen as if someone was reading my mind. I highly recommend it and am going to buy this book for my friend too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Funny, realistic

Acerbic observations and surprising juxtapositions. Others have commented on the narrator’s British accent, but I didn’t have a problem with it. I could see it all in my mind’s eye.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • SC
  • 11-19-21

⭐️⭐️

A bit dragged out, ending was not what I was expecting. Maybe for someone else, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was hoping!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Kind of boring.

This story didn't hold my attention. The characters were just average. It was well written but just boring.