When a prototype self-learning robot, Hiro, is introduced into the Tokyo household where Filipina nurse Angelica Navarone cares for nonagenarian Sayako Hou, their lives are irrevocably changed. It is 2029, and in a country with an ageing population, a critically low birth rate and the prospect of intelligent empathic robots, future employment for Angelica and others like her, is called into question. As Sayako happily bonds with Hiro, she is finally ready to reveal long-held family secrets, which will also impact on Angelica's prospects.
This compelling and original story offers readers opportunities to contemplate the possible future of our world through its insightful depiction of imperial legacies and future technologies, personified through Sayako and Angelica's lives.
Good questions - we had a lot to discuss. A 'different' book - probably would not have read it had it not come up on our booklist.
Very thought provoking. A.I, immigrant workers, ageing, relationships. We had a wide ranging discussion that concluded with agreement that A.I is inevitable with the robotics it enables for better and, not or, for worse. Highly recommended.
This book was unanimously loved by everyone in the group - a rare occasion. What was enjoyed even more than the A.I. theme was the human story, and the topics of immigration and marginalised histories.
This was a gripping novel, skillfully written, covering challenging themes of A.I. - merged with historical aspects of treatment of women in Asia. Inspired a lively and provocative discussion.
I loved the book. My friends had mixed feelings. They either read and enjoyed it, or did not finish it. A great discussion was had.
Some really enjoyed this, while others did not like at all. Felt it could do with some editing. Personally I really enjoyed it although it took a while to get into.
An interesting and topical story. Good discussion.
Very topical, interesting ideas and it all seemed very possible.
This book took a while to get started. S.F. Actually almost here...immigration/pollution/old age companions. An interesting bit of Japanese history. We didn't realise that Japan also had immigrant labour.
Fantastic read - uses science fiction as a premise to explore bonds between family members, financial and sexual slavery, and growing old. Also examines the economic and social cost of low birth rates.