A Tale for the Time Being

I like to read in the car when I’m waiting to pick my kids up from school. There are no distractions. I don’t have the internet beyond what’s on my phone, but I have most data turned off so I can’t really use any apps. I could be listening to podcasts, but that’s just not engaging enough. So, I keep a book in my car that I only read during pick up. This method works pretty well and gives me a good chunk of time to read because pick up lines are long. I read A Tale for the Time Being in its entirety while sipping tea and eating Belvita biscuits and waiting. And what a fun book it was to read.

Ruth lives in Canada on a remote island filled with interesting people who are the nosy sort. While walking along the beach, she finds a bag of books. One is a diary of a young Japanese girl. The others are related to the diary. The girl, Nao, is miserable. She used to live in the states, but when the technology world crashed with the economic recession, her family was forced to move back to Japan. She was bullied, and her dad was out-of-work. Nao spends the summer with her great-grandmother who is a Buddhist nun and learns her own superpowers. Meanwhile, Ruth is a struggling writer with a brain block she can’t undo. She makes it her mission to find Nao and connect with her.

The stories alternate with each chapter, but I really looked forward to reading Nao’s sections more, especially once she starts to learn about her family’s history. A friend recommended this book to me ages ago, and I see why. It’s one that is tough to read at times (Nao’s dad doesn’t handle unemployment well) and you really empathize with Nao and her struggles to find herself. But I really enjoyed this book.

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