YMMV / Deep River

  • Anvilicious: The book is not remotely subtle in its message that other cultures should be accepted- but given how rampant racism and religious intolerance still are, this may be a necessary anvil.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Several contenders, but Mitsuko's scene in the river near the end probably tops the list.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Kiguchi's memories of the Burmese jungle in World War II could turn anyone into an anti-war activist.
  • Tear Jerker: So. Many. Highlights include child Numada leaving his pet dog behind; Isobe finding out what his wife was writing so studiously even while literally on her deathbed; and pretty much everything significant Ōtsu does, but especially the ending.
  • Values Dissonance: In-story, over and over again.
    • The Japanese tourists freak out upon seeing Indians bathing in and drinking from the Ganges, which contains corpses and cremation ashes. Japanese religion treats cleanliness very seriously, and coming into such close contact with human remains is the most disgusting thing one can do. Whereas Hindu thought dictates that the Ganges is an extremely holy river, which is why the dead are disposed of in it.
    • Most of the tourists react with confusion when shown an icon of a Hindu mother goddess, who isn't quite what Japanese or Westerners would call a "mother goddess".
    • Ōtsu is a Japanese Christian, and as such has what he classifies as a very "Japanese" view of God, which does not mesh well with the European Catholics who hold authority over him.
    • Enami gets a few spotlight passages bemoaning how common this trope is, and how way too many tourists are too ignorant to learn anything about a place before going there.
    • It may occur out-of-story to Western readers, who probably won't have the same overzealous fear of anything foreign that some of the characters seem to.
    • For Indian readers, the novel's fawning descriptions of Indira Gandhi's regime and criticism of Sikh separatists, is this since Indira's regime is highly controversial in India and she conducted many overzealous actions against the Sikh separatists. The novel does get the spirit of the anti-Sikh riots right though, many of which were revenge killings tacitly enabled by the Congress.