When I first read the summary of Hotel Iris I didn't know what to expect. The pain and pleasure, would it be that of Marquis de Sade or something soft and mildly shocking? Either way, it managed to grab my attention and I dug into it with great interest.
Mari is a seventeen year old girl, who lives with her controlling mother. They own an old and neglected hotel, the Iris. One night a past-middle-aged man checks in with a prostitute, but during the night they cause a disturbance and they are turned out of the hotel. Mari is drawn to the tone of the voice of that man, which is firm and commanding. Some days later she meets him outside and they start talking. Eventually they form a relationship, hidden from Mari's mother and the man, who we learn is a translator, iniciates Mari to pleasure and pain.
Full review at: http://thereadingarmchair.blogspot.gr/2015/04/review-hotel-iris-by-yoko-ogawa.html