Among the jumble of paperweights, plates, typewriters and general bric-a-brac in Mr Nakano's thrift store, there are treasures to be found.
Each piece carries its own story of love and loss - or so it seems to Hitomi, when she takes a job there working behind the till.
Nor are her fellow employees any less curious or weatherworn than the items they sell.
There's the store's owner, Mr Nakano, an enigmatic ladies' man with several ex-wives; Sakiko, his sensuous, unreadable lover; his sister, Masayo, an artist whose free-spirited creations mask hidden sorrows. And finally there's Hitomi's fellow employee, Takeo, whose abrupt and taciturn manner Hitomi finds, to her consternation, increasingly disarming. A beguiling story of love found amid odds and ends, The Nakano Thrift Shop is a heart-warming and utterly charming novel from one of Japan's most celebrated contemporary novelists.