RaveThe Japanese Times (JPN)Eschewing the effusive — a common entrapment of foreign writers on Japan — the work contains observations that are starkly unflattering ... Reviewers have heaped praise on Poschmann’s novel. One or two have called it a small masterpiece. But ... The Pine Islands has been vilified in some quarters of the internet for its perceived Orientalism, an unexamined adulation of Japanese culture. Are the platitudes Poschmann employs her own, or those of her main character? Asked to clarify the point, she talks of Gilbert as a man who \'had invested so much in being knowledgeable, and has to realize that he knows almost nothing in the end.\' ... This recalls the novelist, Martin Amis who, accused of misogyny, quietly pointed out that the voices of characters should not be confused with those of authors. Are we then, to judge a work of fiction by the words of its protagonists, or on the stirring quality of the writing? ... The sheer delight of reading such fresh, well-crafted prose as Poschmann’s would suggest the latter.