This is the answer to my last post: South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami.
Mr Murakami is one of my favourite authors, inasmuch as I've enjoyed everything I've read by him, and this particular novel (written in 1992, but number seven on my H.M. list) is no exception. While his writing might be most noted for its surreal, slightly sinister story-lines, there's another quality about it that sucks me in.
Childhood sweethearts, long ago separated, meet again and innocent love re-awakens as desire, unquenchable and destructive.The Harvill Press
There are lots of different ways of telling the same story, but it's the quality of the narrative voice (and the elements this comprises of) that often defines the best writer, and this is what, for me, makes Haruki Murakami such an enchanting story-teller. In the words of a less accomplished writer, his stories might come across at times as overly introspective and too incredible, but Murakami brings the characters too life, makes the incredible seem plausible and leads the reader in a compelling dance. A great read.