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A woman novelist living on an unnamed island off an unnamed country notices things are gradually disappearing. Not just small items like hair clips or ribbon, but birds and butterflies. Most people have no memory of them. The Memory Police keep track of those who remember the existence of the things that have disappeared. The woman worries that her novels and her editor will be gone, so she builds a room under her floor for him. She continues with small rebellions and even has a birthday party for a neighbor. Ogawa's beautiful sparse prose enhances the chilling terror of this dark tale of life in a total police state. ~ Reviewed by Sarah Knight