Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

by:  Ruth Ozeki
published by:  Viking Adult
publish date:  March 12, 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 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.

I had been hearing about this book and how great it was.  When I got a chance to listen to the audiobook, I jumped at it.  The first thing that made the audiobook interesting was that it was read by the author.  Some authors do a great job with this, like Joshilyn Jackson.  Ruth Ozeki was another awesome reader.  Authors can bring their characters to life in a way like nobody else.

I loved this book.  The title is very clever.  It's a tale the 16 year old is telling while she's waiting to kill herself, but it's also a tale she's telling to a "time being".  A time being is anything that has ever lived at any point in time and I guess in theory can go to any other point in time.

Nao is writing a journal from a cafe in Tokoyo, she had decided to kill herself, but before she does she's going to tell the story of her grandmother.  However, like most sixteen year olds telling a story, she's constantly sidetracked into her own story.  The journal she writes gets washed up on the shores of British Columbia, Canada.  The woman who finds it initially assumes it is tsumani debris until she becomes obsessed with the journal and begins investigating the writer and her family.

Again, this was a fantastic book.  I definitely recommend it, however it does deal with a lot of difficult issues, such as suicide and bullying, so more sensitive readers might not like it.  The audiobook is a special treat, but at the end of the audiobook the author mentions that the print version has things in it that the audiobook doesn't and vice versa, so she suggests giving both a try.

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