Nothomb goes on to give us a very amusing account of this divine but inert baby, who surprises her parents by suddenly deciding to move or to speak and proving herself very adept at both. But much of the book is a very clever child's view of the adult world, seen, of course, through her Belgian/Japanese eyes. The scenes, for example, where she determines that diplomat is something to do with drains, as her father falls in one or that expressing an interest in something could lead to getting totally the wrong birthday present (in her case, carp), are not only well told but taken to almost extreme limits. Twice she almost dies because, apparently, the Japanese think it bad manners to rescue someone drowning and her struggles with understanding Japanese culture also add to the charm of this novel. In short, a witty and clever novel which gives an interesting perspective on the world.