When Spring Comes Around - Book Review

When Spring Comes Around

Author: Igor Martek
Genre: Romance - Suspense
Date Published: July 16, 2018
ISBN-10: 1684331161
ISBN-13: 9781684331161

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Book Review of :  When Spring Comes Around


Igor Martek’s latest novel, "When Spring Comes Around," is an effortless read. The main character Haru is a young man that is growing into his own as an analyst with Murano, Japan's largest securities firm. He has set his sights on moving up in the company and expected an assignment overseas. New York is his goal. Early in the story, Haru gets sage advice from a retiring mentor and Samurai   

Mr. Watanabe spoke: “The common man rests in safe times. Only after troubles appear does he wrestle with the decisions he should make. Hesitation is death. The wise man wrestles with decisions in times of quiet. He prepares himself. When troubles appear, he need not fear. He need not think. At the moment of decision, there is the only action.”

However, the most important words spoken by Watanabe to Haru were, “A financial crisis is coming like a storm.”  The premonition was correct. Haru was standing on the precipice of a disaster. The financial market started collapsing with companies like multimillion dollar Bear Sterns suddenly imploding and being vacuumed up by JP Morgan for $2 per share in March of 2008.  That was just the beginning of the financial avalanche.

We find out that Murano, the company he works for, has specific criteria their analysts must meet before they can be assigned to the coveted overseas positions. Haru must complete the requirements, and he must also be married. Getting married is going to be a problem for Haru because he doesn't even have a girlfriend and he is very confused about marriage, relationships and women in general. Martek portrays Haru as woman wooing challenged. He was about as skilled as a teenager in navigating the ins and outs of romantic relationships.  In fact, Martek characterizes Haru and his friends from the company as boys being boys and letting off a little steam at the end of a hard day.

To help its employees find appropriate mates Murano actually allows and promotes interdepartmental matchmaker and Haru is quickly matched up with five young ladies as potential future mates. 

Soon Haru finds himself spending an inordinate amount of time managing his new-found social life and worries that he is not putting in the requisite time to the firm. He likes or maybe loves one particular woman named Emily, but she is not the one he is supposed to marry. His chosen wife is Reiko who he likes but the chemistry between them is weak, but all the other attributes he requires for the perfect wife she fulfills. She is the chosen one.

 There is some erotic objectification of the women Haru meets outside of work. These hypersexualized encounters give us a glimpse into a Japanese culture that Martek portrays as rejecting Gender Equality, at least in a Western sense.

Martek creates these exciting scenes including a number of them that may seem a bit bizarre. In one instance he includes a bar with mirrored floors and a wait staff that wears short skirts and no panties. Another of these is a themed style hotel room, primarily for rent on an hourly rate, with a closed circuit television to see who's doing what in the other places of the establishment. Sort of a new type of reality TV.

Martek does a beautiful job orchestrating the interactions between his characters. The vixen, from the office, tapping into Haru's basic primitive desires and the girlfriend that starts out as close to an arranged marriage as it can get. The parents are delightfully portrayed as the older generation offering wise and appropriate advice. Martek also weaves in a little mysticism and magic into the tapestry of this fantastic story. 

The novel chronicles the terrible financial disaster of 2008 and the companies and individuals who were hurt by the debacle. It is also an interesting book about the Japanese culture written by someone who speaks with authority on the subject.  I enjoyed the raw energy infused into this story. While some of the explicit descriptions may not be suitable for younger readers, I found this story enjoyable. Would you like to know what happens to Haru? Does he marry? Does he get the job? What other obstacles could stand in his way? I recommend reading this delightful story to find out for yourself.

About Igor Martek


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