May 31, 2017

A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being
Ruth Ozeki
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I originally picked this up because it was on sale for cheap and was about a girl in Japan (one of my favorite places), so I was feeling nostalgic going into this. It is not at all what I expected.

Goodreads blurb:
"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 guess I should have fully read that description before buying the book. The first 3/4 of the book was lovely. I was very invested in Nao's story and wanted Ruth to uncover what happened to her. I actually wished for the most part that the book was just Nao's diary because Ruth's narrative was pretty boring and I didn't like any of the characters (sorry if this is actually based on your life). What I didn't expect was the ending. I was not prepared for a lecture on quantum mechanics, nor did I care for it. I understand that she wanted to know what happened (as much as I did), but there was no closure. Not even the thought of finding out in another world satisfied me. I almost felt like the read was a waste of time. However, there were a lot of interesting messages within the story, and really, I just enjoyed the ride. Jiko made it worth it.

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