A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats) takes readers on a journey of laughter, sorrow and enlightenment in A Tale for the Time Being. On a remote island in the North Pacific, novelist Ruth has left her beloved New York behind for the secluded life her husband, Oliver, prefers. The transition has left Ruth feeling adrift and even resentful toward Oliver. When Ruth finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed ashore, the items inside provide welcome distraction--especially the diary of 16-year-old Naoko Yasutani. Ruth is caught up by Nao's irreverent, charismatic voice and deep despair. Nao's plan for the diary is simple: after chronicling the amazing life of her centenarian great-grandmother--an anarchist, feminist, novelist and Buddhist nun--Nao will end her own life.

Ruth reads about Nao's father, who lost his job in the U.S. (forcing the family to return penniless to Tokyo) and his failed suicide attempts. She learns about the merciless bullying Nao suffers at her school. As Nao's life grows ever more out of kilter, Ruth feels desperate somehow to save her, but since the diary is 10 years old, she is too late to help--unless she can harness her power as a "time being."

Zen philosophy and quantum theory mingle with Japanese pop culture as all of Ozeki's characters converge, revealing surprising truths about their inner goodness as they bring each other exactly the healing touch each of them needs. Do not miss this beautiful, intricate world or the characters who inhabit it. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services manager at Latah County Library District and blogger at Infinite Reads

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