A Tale for the Time Being
Title: A Tale for the Time Being
Author: Ruth Ozeki
“This book was kind of a downer, but it’s deepness was profound and lasting. Ruth finds a Hello Kitty lunch box washed up on the beach of her island home in Vancouver. Inside she finds a diary from a Japanese teenager that tells the story of 16-year-old Nao. Incessantly bullied at school, Nao has decided to end it all. But before she commits suicide, she wants to tell the story of her amazing great grandmother Jiko, a Buddhist nun. This book is full of many revelations about life and love and belonging. Nao’s tortured existence pained me, but it was worth it to see her relationship with Jiko and her eventual epiphany. Just thinking about it is giving me “the feels” all over again.”—Kelly at KDL’s Cascade branch
“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”
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 first 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 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 humor 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.