Book Review: The Housekeepe​r and the Professor


“The Housekeepe​r and the Professor” is the new Langley Read book for the 2013-2014 school year.

Brandon Arcari, Graphihc Designer

While discussing advanced math formulas and the meanings of prime numbers, The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa manages to be a cute, fun story about math, memory, and the meaning of family. While I won’t spoil the whole thing and let you all use this article as a Cliff Notes of the book, I will tell you that it is a great book to read, and much better than The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. While there is a death, it doesn’t make you depressed like TFIOS, and it is much shorter.

The book features the housekeeper (duh), her son, who has a name, but is referred to as Root, the professor (again duh), and the professor’s sister-in law. The housekeeper is assigned to work for the professor’s sister-in-law which is cleaning her brother-in-law’s cottage in her backyard. The professor is a 64 year old man who was in a horrific car accident in 1975 and now can only retain 80 minutes of memory since that fatal day. This means that every morning, the housekeeper and the professor meet for the first time. The professor, who is never named explicitly, was an esteemed mathematics professor and is extremely knowledgeable about numbers and math in general. The book revolves around the events that occur in response to the professor’s lack of memory and the challenges it provides such as trying to attend a baseball game twelve years after the professor can remember anything or going to the doctor.

I enjoyed this book because it was a major improvement over the other books we could have read and because the story was interesting, funny, and a major change from any book I have read for school before.