The Nao Of Brown

The Nao of Brown

How did I get it?:
I bought it at Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights


Twenty-eight-year-old Nao Brown, who’s hafu (half Japanese, half English), is not well. She’s suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and fighting violent urges to harm other people. But that’s not who she really wants to be. Nao has dreams. She wants to quiet her unruly mind; she wants to get her design and illustration career off the ground; and she wants to find love, perfect love.

Nao’s life continues to seesaw. Her boyfriend dumps her; a toy deal falls through. But she also meets Gregory, an interesting washing-machine repairman, and Ray, an art teacher at the Buddhist Center. She begins to draw and meditate to ease her mind and open her heart—and in doing so comes to a big realization: Life isn’t black-and-white after all . . . it’s much more like brown.


My sister Beth and I are trying to read more graphic novels, so when we attended our second reading spa at Mr B’s Emporium we asked for some graphic novel recommendations. Ed recommended The Nao of Brown amongst some others. I was really intrigued after he discussed the book, so we decided to buy it!

The Nao of Brown centres aroune Nao Brown who is a Hafu, she’s half Japanese and half English. Nao is in her late twenties, she shares a flat with a nurse and works in an adult Japanese toy shop. Nao has obsessive compulsive disorder. She is plagued by intrusive thoughts which can often be violent. One particuarly disturbing scene that comes to my mind is when Nao imagines attacking a pregnant woman-killing the baby. Nao is searching for love and becomes obsessed with Gregory. The story follows Nao’s love life and her battles with her OCD.

This story really is grim at times, yet there’s something about it that kept me turning the pages. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Nao. I think it’s quite a unique story even if it can get a little muddled at times. I don’t think it’s the clearest or strongest storyline that I’ve read, I also didn’t enjoy the ending at all, but it’s well worth reading if you don’t mind a strange tale. It may have a dark edge, but there are also some great humorous moments which I appreciated.

The art in this graphic novel is simply beautiful. It’s got such detailed watercoloured art work. I often spent some time just looking at the pages admiring the art!

Would I recommend it?:

Whilst this graphic novel wasn’t my favourite to read, it was still highly engaging and unique!

3 thoughts on “The Nao Of Brown

  1. I never read graphic novels but I’m interested in Nao’s story as a hafu. Having lived in Japan and made friends with two half Japanese half English girls, I was able to see first-hand the kind of issues they had. Even though the story does not seem to focus on this, it’d be interesting to read this, thank you!

  2. Pingback: The Wine Book Tag! | 4thhouseontheleft

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