THE WORK consists of a series of essays depicting the life of a mother and her daughter, a fine piece of narration from the daughter's perspective. Ohta Haruko, an illegitimate child of a renowned novelist, Dazai, man who was already married and had a family.
It narrates their long and difficult, nonetheless interesting, journey to seek happiness. There was a bond between mother and daughter despite misgivings, quarrels and frustrations between them along the way. The novel mainly revolves around the issue of the daughter's marriage. Knowing her father only through photographs, the daughter had developed a complex and ambivalent feeling towards sexuality while she wished for an ordinary but happy marriage. The scenes freely plied between the past and the present intertwining the daughter's life and that of the mother.
The essays culminates in the final chapter which describes the death of the mother and the mother's youngest brother. The daughter felt that she, too, had died but was reborn to go on a voyage of life on her own. She did not fell that she was alone though, for she could feel her mother and the mother's love more strongly inside her now.