The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida

Clarissa Goenawan

fiction contemporary
emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced

288 pages | first published 2020

From the critically acclaimed author of Rainbirds comes a novel of tragedy and dark histories set in Japan.

University sophomore Miwako Sumida has hanged herself, leaving those closest to her reeling. In the months before her suicide, she was hiding away in a remote mountainside village, but what, or whom, was she running from?

To Ryusei, a fellow student at Waseda; Chie, Miwako’s best friend; and Fumi, Ryusei’s older sister, Miwako was more than the blunt, no-nonsense person she projected to the world. Heartbroken, Ryusei begs Chie to take him to the village where Miwako spent her final days. While he is away, Fumi receives an unexpected guest at their shared apartment in Tokyo, distracting her from her fear that Miwako’s death may ruin what is left of her brother’s life.

Expanding on the beautifully crafted world of Rainbirds, Clarissa Goenawan gradually pierces through a young woman’s careful façade, unmasking her most painful secrets.

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emotional 83%
mysterious 75%
reflective 58%
sad 58%
dark 50%
challenging 16%
tense 16%
adventurous 8%
hopeful 8%
inspiring 8%
lighthearted 8%


medium 75%
fast 16%
slow 8%

Strong character development?

Yes: 70% | No: 20% | It's complicated: 10%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 62% | Yes: 37%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 62% | It's complicated: 12% | N/A: 12% | No: 12%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 87% | N/A: 12%

Average rating