Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Ruth Ozeki- A Tale for the Time Being
There are two stories as Oliver and Ruth in Canada find the articles and Nao who is a 17 year old student in Japan wrote it.
Chapters alternate between the lives of Nao and her family as well as Ruth and Oliver.
I must say I enjoyed the parts of the book that were about Nao. I really enjoyed her as a character because she was a complex girl dealing with many difficult issues in her life. I felt like I was there with her as she tried to sort everything out.
She also had a 104 year old grandmother who was a Buddhist nun and the parts of the book that dealt with her and her relationship with Nao were interesting.
Nao's relationship to her father was a book in itself.
When it came to the Canadian side though I had less satisfaction. I felt the author was being a bit too clever for my liking and I found Ruth and Oliver frustrating especially in the beginning. I did think they developed more as the story progressed.
I thought a lot could have been tightened up in the editing with the length being a problem. (422 pages). I also thought some information could have been cut with them as well as some information pumped up a little bit. When people describe a book as being "uneven" I can now understand what they mean.
I think this is a book that will divide people and I think many people will really get into it. However I will certainly remember these characters and the geographic locales were described brilliantly. I did feel as though I was visiting both parts of Japan and western Canada and all the light and darkness they contained. I really enjoyed that.
I would definitely recommend this book but I am looking forward to our book club meeting the first week of March when we get a chance to discuss it. There are many things to think about and my head is still trying to come to terms with everything in it. There are many threads to this story and it will depend upon the reader whether they are wrapped up at the end or not.
I would love to know what other people who have read this book think about it. I really had days I would read it and be kept in suspense and then something clever would be introduced and I'd want to throw it across the room but one thing was for sure......I could not put it away and HAD to finish it.
Let me know if you've read it.