A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki, is truly a tale filled with Japanese culture, philosophical insight and an eclectic cast of characters. Ruth, a frustrated novelist, who lives in a remote area of the pacific northwest, finds a well wrapped package that washed up to the beach she frequently visits near her home. Along with her husband, Oliver, she gets pulled into the life of a 16 year old Japanese girl, named Nao. Nao's diary, an antique wristwatch (that still runs), and a small stack of letters written in French come alive to Ruth and she finds herself becoming obsessed with Nao's story. The chapters alternate between Ruth and her life on the island and Nao's struggles with her life in Japan. It's a sad, poignant and yet fascinating read, filled with interesting facts of Zen Buddhism, Japanese World War II history and modern day life in Japan. This book was recommended to me by a co-worker/friend who knows my likes and dislikes. It's not typically the kind of book I would read but am so glad she suggested it. At times it was very sad, but well worth the time. Thanks Leah!
A novelist on a remote island in the Pacific is linked to a bullied and depressed Tokyo teenager after discovering a Hello Kitty lunchbox that washed ashore.