A tale for the time being by Ruth Ozeki
Published March 12th 2013
In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine.
Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.
Full of Ozeki’s signature humour and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home
I wish it to be more eye appealing but it does the job.
In one of my second-hand books, I recently found a 1992 bus ticket. It was from Edinburgh, and I live in India. I was pleased about this ticket and wanted to know more about it. Who travelled? Where must he/she have been travelling? Did this book impress the person?
How this planet, which sometimes looks larger, is strangely connected. Occasionally it takes us much time and works to accomplish things, and sometimes it finds its way to us.
Ruth finds a lunch box at a seashore, and it had a diary, few letters, and an ancient watch. The novel shifts between Nao’s journal and Ruth’s story, as She starts to get interested in Nao’s story.
In the beginning, Nao writes about her old Jiko. She is the oldest buddhis nun and feminist; I love this philosophical character. The way Nao described her I felt my grandma’s hand in my palm; although she is deceased, I felt her. That is wonderful the writing style is. I felt her.
Furthermore, the writing style of Ruth is terrific. The sensitive predicament and humanity description of Ruth is superb. Oliver was my immediate crush. When she is at a crossroads, he encourages Ruth. He is familiar with her mood and the time to leave her alone. Oliver gets intrigued by Nao’s narrative as well, and he and Ruth spend much time talking about the journal. He is a fountain of knowledge and scientific data, and his hobbies range from ornithology to quantum physics.
I can see the Zen perspective of life, and it means here. The novel is too slow for my liking, but I can take time to savour various topics in one book, such as memories, dreams, tragedy, storytelling, reading and writing.
While I enjoyed it, I felt like there were still missing bits or something I did not understand in this book. Nevertheless, if you are preparing for a long journey or a night pick this up; I am sure you will finish it before dawn.
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Tell me something…
- which books have slow pace but you enjoy it nevertheless?