Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Tale for the Time Being - Review by AmberBug

A Tale for the Time Being
Ruth Ozeki

Published 2013

First Sentences"Hi!  My name is Nao and I am a time being."
Publisher's Description:
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.

Dear Reader,

This book was chosen for me not by me. There is a quaint bookstore down by the shore in Connecticut (might have mentioned this place before) that convinced me to sign up for a monthly club that sends you signed first edition hardcovers for only the price of the book itself. I absolutely love this deal because it makes me branch out and read something I might have otherwise left alone. Although Ozeki's novel didn't speak to me the way it did to others, I still feel like RJ Julia selected this book with care and the writing and imagination is most definitely there. A Tale for the Time Being does have a large number of readers who LOVED every word.

The story is essentially two interconnected stories in one. You have the plot line with Nao, sixteen years old and going through all the troubles a truly unique girl at that age would have to go through (if not a little more). The parts with Nao as the main focus really kept me reading and I loved almost all of it. The second story follows a couple that has some problems. We have Ruth, who becomes obsessed with this story of Nao that happened to wash up on the shore. Such a romantic idea, which I loved. However, the interaction between her and the husband had me cringing. I absolutely HATED the dynamic between the two, they didn't play nice with one another and ended up making me feel awkward (the kind of awkward feeling that comes when you happen upon a very heated lovers spat and you wish you could disappear into the wall before they bring you into it... yes that!)

Don't get me wrong, I did like this book for the most part but I had way to many dislikes to give this any higher of a rating. When I liked something in the book, I LOVED it but the same goes for when I didn't like something, it turned into an extreme DISLIKE.

Now to get into the gritty ending and for this I have to say goodbye to those who haven't read the book.


What the heck was up with that crazy explanation to tie up the ending to make it clean and happy!? I hated it. I would rather have a sad ending instead of a crazy one! It explained everything so vaguely with parallel worlds and quantum mechanics. I love sci-fi, watched every season of Stargate (also with many episodes on quantum mechanics and parallel worlds) BUT the difference being... I didn't feel it has a place in this book, it didn't really fall into place and the explanation was held by such a small thread it broke when I turned the page in the book. 


The three stars I gave this book was for Nao and her heartwarming, compelling story that kept me reading for the entire four hundred and thirty two pages. I warn you that this is not for everyone (especially with that ending) but at least you'll have a nice journey getting there.


P.S. - Check out what Arianna thought of this book!
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