A Tale For The Time Being. Ruth Ozeki. 2012. Canongate Books.
If you enjoy a good novel, then let me recommend this one to you. A Tale for the Time Being was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2013, it should have won it!
Ruth lives in Canada with her husband, when one day while walking along the beach she picks up a plastic bag planning on throwing it away. She takes it back to their home and leaves it on the porch, where her husbands finds it and being more intrigued than she is proceeds to unpack the contents of the plastic bags.
Within the bags, which there are several layers of, they find an Hello Kitty lunch box and inside the lunch box a journal of a young Japanese girl, Nao Yasutani. The box also contains letters and a note book belonging to Nao brother. Ruth begins to read the journal and finds friends who can translate both the notebook and the letters and has she does so she learns about Nao, her family and her life in Japan, including her 104 year old great-grandmother, who is a Buddhist nun.
Nao writes about her life, her parents and her grandmother and what is happening around her. Her life is difficult, after spending her yearly life in Silicone valley her father loses his job and the family have to relocate back to Japan, where Nao does not fit and the other children bully her, but eventually she gets her own back on them all.
The book follows Ruth’s unraveling of Nao’s life through the contents of the lunch box and her dreams.
This book is beautifully written, to the point where you actually feel part of the story and long to know the end, what really happened to Nao and her family and is the lunch book part of the drift that came across the sea after the 2011 Tsunami?