Barnes & Noble.com
Teenage love story/ghost story about an Irish boy's first visit to Japan.
Majo is the story of a seventeen-year-old Irish guy, Ronan, who goes to Japan alone on his Christmas holidays to spend time with his brother Mark, an English teacher. While there, Ronan meets the attractive, peculiar Sakura, who takes him to various spooky sightseeing points in snowy Hirosaki, northern Japan. The horror-movie-loving couple encounter a strange majo (“witch” in Japanese) that keeps appearing to them in the oddest of places (from the grounds of a sacred temple to the inside of a karaoke box!) with some vital message to impart. This short novel is as much a love story as it is a tale of the supernatural, and we follow the new couple trying to overcome their communication problems (Sakura speaks hardly any English) and grow closer together. Why has the apparition specifically chosen to contact them? And why is the black-clad, morose Japanese teenager’s scrapbook filled with mystifying articles and arcane information? Does she know more than she at first lets on? As the plot unfolds we discover that the witch is actually Sakura’s grandmother, caught in a netherworld of lost love; her American pilot lover crashed during the war and was taken from her; and young Sakura also dabbles in the occult and is on her way to becoming a witch, though she prefers the term healer. Some catastrophe is about to be flung before them, just as it was in majo’s time, but can they figure out exactly what it all means before it all goes horribly wrong?